Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Book vs. Film: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest vs. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Plot: The final entry in the Millennium Trilogy begins only moments after the end of the previous story, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Lisbeth Salander, suffering from multiple bullet wounds (including one to her head) is rushed to the hospital, where she is basically put under house arrest in her hospital room while she recovers from her injuries. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist is working overtime trying to prove that Lisbeth has been railroaded by corrupt government forces and a scandal-crazed media.
Primary Differences Between Book and Film: On the whole, the film stays relatively true to the novel. It trims a lot of fat and cuts a few of the book’s army of supporting characters, but it doesn’t fundamentally alter much of the plot.
For the Book: To be honest, Hornet’s Nest is my least favourite of the books. I think it picks up a lot of the bad habits from the first book that were absent in the second (why must every woman throw herself at Blomkvist?) and it has a difficult time building up steam, which may be a result of the fact that Lisbeth is out of commission for so much of it. One thing about the book that I did like, however, was that Lisbeth ends up with Mimi (albeit in a tacit and kind of loose way) because I’ve always found that relationship more believable and compelling than Lisbeth’s relationship with Blomkvist.
For the Film: Like I said, it trims a lot of fat and that is definitely to its credit. Stieg Larsson has his strengths as a writer, but editing himself is not one of them and as a result the books tend to be a bit cluttered with unnecessary details. The film moves at a much quicker pace and makes Lisbeth a slightly more active character than she’s allowed to be in the novel and the result is that the film feels a lot more dynamic than the book.
Winner: Film. It may be because the novel and the film version of Girl Who Played with Fire left my expectations a bit low, but I thought Hornet’s Nest was a decent (if not great) way to end the film series. I don’t think either of the sequels is in the same league as the film version of Dragon Tattoo, but I think that Hornet’s Nest wraps things up in an effective and mostly engaging way.