When we saw the movie was coming out in a local theatre, we decided that it would make for a great book club outing. So, we all gathered with our popcorn and other treats, and watched the 800 page novel be condensed into a 2.5 hour movie in Swedish.
It was…fantastic. I think we all agreed that they glossed over the right (tedious) things while still staying relatively true to the story. They did change some minor things in the plot, but it worked. For some of us, it was more disturbing to watch than to read, as there are a few sexually violent scenes that were hard to stomach in either case. The original title of the book, Men Who Hate Women, gives a much better foreshadowing of the actions of some of the characters.
The director did an amazing job portraying the strong female lead character, who also stars in the other two books in the series (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). I also think he managed to tell the story without it being confusing to people who haven’t read the book. One of the book club members brought her husband along, and he had not read the book – I know she reads the blog, so hopefully she can tell us what he thought 🙂
I wasn’t sure if I was interested enough in reading the other two books, but I think this movie has convinced me to at least read the next one. It would also be interesting if an American director creates a version of the movie.
In any case, I highly recommend both the book and the movie. But, if you just have time for one, the movie is an excellent, and much less time-consuming, choice. Be fair warned about the graphic content though.
Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins in Changeling – a film based on a true story about a woman who loses her son, and fights back when the police bring her the wrong boy back. It’s a powerful, infuriating, and disturbing story, but one where the strength of the female character is astonishing. The horror of mental institutions and how females were treated in general is a frightening, yet enlightening, thing to watch. This is one of those films that will stay with me for years, and I can see why it was nominated for so many awards – including nominations for Angelina Jolie who was incredible.
Aminata Diallo, in The Book of Negroes, tells her story of being kidnapped from her village in Africa and the horrors that follow in America as she becomes a slave. This story is absolutely gut-wrenching and inspiring at the same time. She suffers brutalities that no human should ever face – losing her loved ones along the way. But, she manages to find a way to rise up above it all and learns to read, write, and work her way to freedom. Lawrence Hill is an absolute master of painting the picture of Aminata’s life, and he is well deserving of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best overall book.
These two women are amazing role models for anyone – black or white; young or old; rich or poor – or anything in between. I’d highly recommend either of these for anyone looking for some insipration, or just a great story.