Monthly Archives: February 2011

Book Vs Movie: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

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When I bought The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I was equipped with the knowledge that the book is massively hyped, even though it is not what caught me under its spell. In fact it’s the dragon TATTOO of the girl what made me cave in and pick the book. At that time I had no clue this girl is Stieg Larsson’s agent to remind us that there are certain things in life to which we turn a blind eye. One more casualty of sexual assault,  one more victim of social cannibalism, one more person in pain because of unfair jurisdiction, we sure do catch a glimpse from our peripheral vision. May be it’s because we are overloaded that we have become numb enough to hear but not listen and to look but not see the most of it. Anyway, it is only one of the reasons which makes the book/ movie commendable! So digging further in to the story…

(Sorry, but from here onwards this post contains spoilers. If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, PLEASE, stop right here, go read the book or watch the movie and come back again!)

… I can tell you that I thought it’s one explosive, monster of a thriller imbued with incredibly fascinating and unique characterization. Since you all may have read the novel or watched the movie, and already know how the combination of Mikael Blomkvist’s insistent journalism skills and Lisbeth Salander’s quite unconventional information gathering methods lead them towards discovering the gruesome history behind Vanger family, I’ll focus on the comparison of the book and the movie and try to come up with a winner!

First of all, I won’t deny that most of the readers would have found the first few chapters of the book to be extremely dull the way Stieg Larsson chose to describe Mikael’s libel trial. Given my accounting background, I thought it helps to encompass the characters, the situations they face and the way they are related, deeply. But most could have grown bored thinking it’s going to be a story about financial corruption. So according to my thinking, that start was definitely not the best way to make the readers stay excited! Anyway, after uncovering the novel’s strength –  Harriet’s mystery, in such an interesting and a shocking way, the book gets back in track from where it started, and devotes the last few chapters to describe how Mikael takes revenge from Wennerstrom, an industrial giant who falsely accuses Mikael of producing a slanderous article, again with the help of  indomitable Lisbeth. So, overall, despite poor choice Larsson had made at the beginning, I’d give five stars to this piece of writing.

And now moving to the movie, Lisbeth Salander’s characterization which makes the novel interesting, was pretty much lost in here. The sullen, anti-social and people skills lacking Salander is not much portrayed. And the reckless way Salander sends information to Mikael, making it obvious that she is a hacker when he has no idea who she is, is an insult done to her character, I dare say, specially when later in the movie Mikael suggests that Salander could be having a photographic memory in possession. Apart from the several plots which stretch credulity to a certain extend, the way it exposes to viewers how Salander becomes an enactor of justice, taking the matters into her hand, and resolving them in a way perhaps disturbing and disgusting, but undeniably fair and fitting compels viewers to confront their own ideas about the treatment meted out to the women in the society.

The winner? Although I like the movie, to me, ultimately the winning “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is the book, which pares the story down to its core. Now give me your thoughts. Which do you prefer the best?

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Hurricane Names; They Crack Me Up!

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There are way too many problems in our world. We have got poverty, homelessness, fuel shortages, economic downturns, and even the Sri Lankan university system to add to that!

To make things worse, now even the nature is hitting at us!

Well, it’s not that I’m saying the natural disasters were not here before. They were sure out there. But now the numbers have increased, IMMENSELY, sucking the life out of too many people!

May be it’s because the Mayans are right about the world coming to an end in 2012.

Or may be it’s not.

But whatever the reason, it makes a perfect sense for all of us to keep our eyes wide open and know-it-all about all sorts of possible disasters in these destructive times.

In Sri Lanka, after I was born, there has been nothing more than hurricanes, floods, mountain slides, and the tsunami which struck us in 2004. And given our geographical location, the possibility of us getting hit by any other kind of disaster is minimal.

Anyway, from the havocs we have had so far, which baffles me the most are hurricanes.

I simply don’t understand why hurricanes have names!

I can understand people’s need to name pets, planets and may be even household equipments. But why hurricanes and only hurricanes for that matter? It’s as if they are trying to come up with a whole family tree of hurricanes!

They have not put the current lineup for Indian Ocean hurricanes in the internet, yet. But the 2011 Atlantic storm list is as follows: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.

Do I need to say that I’m confused? Who is going to take a warning about Hurricane Sean seriously? Cos all it reminds me is Jay Sean! Same goes for Hurricane Lee. I had a classmate with that name, whom it’s difficult for me to picture destroying half the world. Perhaps I should give him a buzz and ask if he finds this association flattering!

Sure, this list is a fair play because it has got both male and female names in it. And much better than the 2009 list, which had both Rose and Grace in it, where I can’t even think of any reason why anyone would want to name a hurricane after Rose! Most probably it must have been some angry guy who got rejected by a lover named Rose or who got thrashed by the very bunch of Roses he had offered! And then Grace! How could anything as catastrophic as a hurricane have any grace in it? In this way they might as well name a hurricane – Fluffy Kitten!

So frankly this is why they should name these whirlwinds of doom after something scary, if they really want to warn people about an in-coming hurricane. (Well, my friends would surely know what is in store for them if a hurricane is named ‘Nir’!)

Or at least use names that  demonstrate their calamitous nature.

Cos I’m sure even “Hurricane Enron struck us hard” or “Hurricane WorldCom is gone for good”, would do the job better!

I Write Like…

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Today I tried this online analyzer “I write like”, twice. I don’t know how it works, but I got this weird match-up.

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

To tell you the truth, I had no idea who Cory Doctorow is before.

Nevertheless it sparked my curiosity, hence now I know he is a Canadian science fiction author whose books have got 4 stars in Amazon.

So I guess I’m supposed to call it a quadruple shock and a delight to my system!

But in fact I don’t and won’t!

To me this judgment seems wrong and unjustifiable, because the style of each and every one of us is different from one and other.

Last week I was a bit of a spoiled brat and used a handful of ‘assholes’ throughout the post because I thought it would give a triggering effect to it! But now I know not everyone agrees with me!


And sometime back one of my best friends pointed  out to me that I should try to make my posts simpler. At that point I argued otherwise with her, but yet again it reminded me that William Faulkner once referred to Ernest Hemingway – one of the brilliant writers ever, as a  “Writer who has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

All of us must be bold and man or I think I should say woman enough to make declarations and assertions of our own.

Likewise if someone finds Doctorow’s writing to be poignant and fantastic and mine self-indulgent and underwhelming, that’s perfectly natural and that’s how it should be.

So I won’t use this analyzer as an evaluator because I can say with affirmation, I write like no other!

But I’d rather use it as a gift that has bestowed upon me to explore the territory of a previously undiscovered author, because after all I’m student of the writing realm.