The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Lost in Adaptation

A British guys looks at a American adaptation of a Swedish book. Lost in Adaptation is getting very multicultural.

About The Dom

Reviewer of games, TV shows and movies. The Dom also likes to look at film adaptations of books and talk about what got lost transitioning from page to screen.


  1. Having now watched this for a second time I think I actually might give the books a try. I normally avoid anything with a lot of hype because they usually never live up to it.

  2. I remember when both versions cam out and they were EVERYWHERE!!!! I, for the longest time, thought the Swedish and American version were the same.

    • Just saw on Twitter your Q&A announcement so hear are some questions I have:

      1: how come you don’t do any crossovers and convention appearances?
      2: would you do a mini-series adaptations of books like the short lived No #1 Lady Detective Agency series?
      3; will you ever review a film adapted into a book?
      4: a friend of mine gave me Terry Pratchett novel ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Mice’: thought’s on that?
      5: speaking of Sir Pratchett, will you ever review an adaptation of his work?
      6: when will you finish your Prisoner’s series (and when do I get honored and glorified for knowing that series you referenced in that one episode with Penelope Keith and the guy from Yes Minister moving to a farm: I demand what’s rightfully mine!!!!)
      7: afore mentioned friend (who I introduced to your show and she loves it), lent me both Howl’s Moving Castle and Ender’s Game. Having yet to read the latter, I’d like to say I really like Howl’s Moving Castle. Should it have another film adaptation?
      And finally; WHEN WILL YOU REVIEW THE 1999 MANSFILED PARK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! IT’S STINKS SOOOO MUCH!!!!

      I hope you read these and answer them (if you can’t do all I’m totally fine…but an answer to that last one would be most appreciated)
      Thanks 🙂

  3. I saw the original Swedish film a long time ago without having heard much about it. I’m not one who’s typically too into subtitled films, but there are certain ones that just engross me and this was definitely one of them. The film is shockingly brutal, despite not having excessive gore, something you may have glossed over a bit. Seriously this is one fucked up and disturbing film, especially if you have any experience with victims of abuse (or happen to be one). It’s the kind of movie that manages to disturb without turning into “Gorn”. Lisbeth’s revenge on her legal guardian was simultaneously horrifying and unsettlingly cathartic, I was absolutely positive there was no way the American version would maintain the original scene, yet they pretty much did.

    Personally I kind of stopped watching the series after the first film, mostly because I liked the relatively happy note the Swedish version left off on and have a distinct feeling the next two do not end well for Lisbeth. I should probably still watch them eventually though.

  4. Watched all 3 of the Swedish films, and since it’s been a while, might check out the newer version.

  5. Sounds like something I should check out. thanks for the video.

    Have you ever done a “Lost In Translation” of the Book and Disney Movie ‘Bambi’? I have read and watched both adaptations and they might be really interesting to look at.

  6. There is also a TV-version of the Millenium-trilogy, each part is approx. 30-40 mins. longer.
    Those contain more backstory to characters.

  7. I found the American version to be better to be fair. I preferred Rooney Mara as Lisbeth (although I like Noomi Rapace as well) and like mentioned in the video I can see a young woman on jumping on Daniel Craig than the Swedish guy. What they did with Harriett in the American version I also liked just because of the mind buggery it involved although it does make more sense to disappear to the Australian outback.

    I’ve read the book and do find there’s an awful lot of filler (Blomkevist having an affair with Anita’s sister being one) but it’s still a very good book.

    I’m still disappointed that they didn’t/don’t want to do the two sequels for the American one.

  8. The more nuanced performances alone of the American version make it better. Also, it has a much better sense of dread and isolation. Honestly, I find people who piss on this version for simply being an American adaptation is about as pretentious as it can get.

    • Dromedary Meat Cactus

      The reason people pissed on it who were familiar with the previous film adaptation is because

      a) the first film adaptation was considered a success
      b) the first film adaptation was made in the country where the story takes place by people who live in that country

      It seems reasonable rather than pretentious to be skeptical for the need for a completely new adaptation made by people who don’t know the country where the story takes place nearly as well because some people refuse to read subtitles.

  9. I never read the book and I didn’t want to see the movie because I don’t like things that are too dark usually. Interesting video, though.

  10. The first sentence under the video review box needs to be edited. The sentence should be “A British guy’s look at an American adaptation of a Swedish book.” or “A British guy looks at an American adaptation of a Swedish book.”

  11. You should do a video on The Last Unicorn. It’d be an extremely easy one to do, as the movie is a damn near perfect adaptation, the entire plot and lines of dialogue and all the major scenes. The only difference would be “the carnival freak show left out a spider that thought it ruled the world, and there were a couple guards that had minor speaking roles that were left out.” It didn’t deviate at all, used exact dialogue, and only left out very very minor bits. It also had the book’s writer on script duties, like Princess Bride, so…

    Mostly it’d just be interesting to see how you handle something super amazingly close to the source which is super rare.

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