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Film / The Millennium Trilogy

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The Millennium Trilogy, also known as the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, is a series of Swedish thrillers starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist released in 2009, adapted from the first three books in the Millennium Series by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson.

In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist, facing financial ruin in the wake of a libel case, is offered a lifeline when reclusive businessman Martin Vanger hires him to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Martin's grandniece Harriet several decades earlier. To find the truth, Blomkvist must navigate the dark corners of Vanger's family history, but thankfully, he is assisted by Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant young hacker with some dark secrets and a deep, seething hatred for rapists and sexual abusers.

In The Girl Who Played with Fire, two of Blomkvist's colleagues are murdered, and Salander appears to be the main culprit. Blomkvist would really like to talk with Salander, but she is busy dodging the police and trying to avoid confronting her dark past. Meanwhile, both Blomkvist and Salander find themselves in the crosshairs of a deep and sinister conspiracy.

In The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Lisbeth is on trial for murder while still recovering from life-threatening injuries, Blomkvist is searching for ways to help her, and the conspiracy launches its final moves to save itself.

The films were compiled into a six-part TV miniseries with extended scenes which aired in 2010.

See also the American productions The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011 remake) and The Girl in the Spider's Web, based on the same literary saga.

This series contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Janne Dahlmann, one of the Millennium editors, takes a payoff to feed info to Wennerström. When Malin discovers it, she and Erika decide to keep him on in order to feed disinformation. Except they never actually do it, and it's not mentioned again until Erika fires him at the end.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The Dragon Tattoo movie depicts Harriet as a blonde, while the book has her as a brunette who dyes her hair blonde when she goes into hiding.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: There was some complaint that, the couple times Blomkvist is shot at, he keeps his calm as though he were James Bond instead of a civilian journalist. The thing is, Sweden had compulsory military service until 2010; the book goes into a small amount of detail about Blomkvist's experiences in the armed forces.
  • Age Lift: Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace were both older than Mikael and Lisbeth are in the books.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Changed between books and films; it's bad in Dragon Tattoo when Bjurman ties Lisbeth up and rapes her, but Lisbeth freely lets Miriam tie her up gently when they meet in Played With Fire. In the Played With Fire movie, Lisbeth all but states that you would only be into bondage as a top if you were a sadistic pig and a rapist, but at the time she is talking to a rapist, so it all evens out.
  • Book Ends: In the Swedish trilogy - the first lines of Dragon Tattoo are spoken by a reporter for SVT - a very pregnant Alexandra Pascalidou in a Newscaster Cameo, who's reporting on the outcome of Mikael Blomkvist's libel trial. She makes another appearance (significantly less pregnant) close to the end of Hornet's Nest, this time reporting on the newly exposed Secret Section within Sapo.
  • Fanservice: The only full sex scene in The Film of the Book (leaving out a rape and a Mikael / Erika morning after bit) is an extended sequence of Lisbeth and Miriam.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Not a classic example in that there's no wailing or screaming, but in the film Lisbeth is very audibly enjoying herself the first time she and Mikael have sex.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Many of the characters have been changed from the books to the films for the sake of brevity. In addition many subplots were cut. For example in the book Lisbeth leaves Mikael because she catches him with Erika and is heartbroken. In the Swedish films Erika and Mikael do not have a physical relationship, instead Lisbeth simply leaves Sweden because she is afraid of falling in love. This happens less in the first American film, which is a few minutes longer (Mikael and Erika's physical relationship has been restored, for example), but still appears occasionally. The Mikael-Erika relationship does appear in the uncut TV version, though.
    • The Film of the Book hits most of the high notes, but simplifies a few matters for the sake of streamlining the plot. Henrik's offer to give Mikael evidence about Wennerström and his buying a stake in Millennium are left out, as is Mikael's daughter being the one who figures out the "Leviticus" references, and Anita is killed off instead of being Harriet's helper. Some events in the timeline are shifted around as well, and the various Millennium employees have maybe five minutes total screen time.
    • The change to ultimate fates of Anita and Harriet were done mainly so that the producers of both films could avoid the extra expense of going to Australia just to shoot two scenes.
  • Product Placement: The movie is filled with this for Swedish companies, including an almost gratuitous promoting of SVT, the public service channel. There's a rather perverse Values Dissonance to it since Larsson was a noted communist and it's highly unlikely he'd have approved. There's also a bit of a Take That! to SVT in the book, when Mikael buys a small TV with a rabbit-ear antenna (to pick up the broadcast channel SVT) for his stay in Hedeby. His neighbors invite him over to their house if he ever wants to watch anything on real TV.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Many characters are fond of this. Lisbeth uses one in the first film to defend herself when Mikael questions her about Martin's death. and why he deserved to die. In the second film, Armansky gives one to Lisbeth when she says she didn't know why she never said goodbye. "You don't care about anyone, you treat your friends like dirt. It's as simple as that." Which she is unable to disagree with.
  • Searching for the Lost Relative: Henrik (and to a lesser extent, Martin) have never stopped looking for his great-niece/his sister, Harriet, who disappeared 40 years ago. She is discovered to have run away after Gottfried and Martin raped her, and is eventually reunited with Henrik after Martin's death.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: While the original books have Blomkvist and Salander as equal protagonists, the Swedish movies go out of their way to make Salander the star. Her weaknesses are cut back (most notably her social awkwardness), portraying her as less of a flawed human and more of an invincible force of nature. Blomkvist suffers in that his intelligence and journalistic competence are lowered in order to make Salander more intelligent by comparison.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Lisbeth shows this off in the film versions, complete with a dragon tattoo that covers most of her back.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Employed to rather distressing effect after Bjurman forces Lisbeth to give him oral sex for money.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Tattoo Trilogy