Friday, August 05, 2011

Stop The Millenium

This post makes no sense if you have not seen the films I am discussing or read the books upon which they are based.

This week I have been watching the "Millenium Trilogy" of films adapted from Stieg Larrson's novels (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire & The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest). The films are very good, well paced and with plots that sit together nicely.

There is one quibble that I have though- the investigative magazine that features throughout the trilogy "Millenium" seems to be the most tedious publication ever committed to print. Obviously it is a fictional magazine that I cannot actually read but just consider the following:
  • In the second film the magazine's big story that is going to be the focus of their next issue is that men are using prostitutes. I know this is feminist Sweden but is that really news. There is dramatic talk of them confronting the punters with the kind of bullying prurience that makes them seem like the house organ of Iran's Revolutionary Guard investigating couples for holding hands.
  • It is almost always out of date, despite one of the characters being an ace hacker, the Internet is unheard of among magazine staffers. They have to get their rapidly developing story to the printers a week in advance of printing it in order to get it out.
  • As you would expect of earnest socialist Swedes, they don't believe in being pithy. As the journalists discuss writing up the big story in the 3rd film, you realise that they are talking about writing 30 to 50 pages each. For a magazine this seems excessive- a Private Eye special might run to 20 pages in total, yet they are talking about 200 pages of prose just on one story.
  • Being socialists and Swedes they all come across as being devoid of a sense of humour, so this is 200 pages of an out of date story with no laughs in it whatsoever.
Of course being in a fictional universe, this magazine appears to actually sell to people beyond the friends and family of the staff whereas in reality it would be as widely read as Roundabout Enthusiasts Monthly.

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