Ashley says the greatest thing I ever bought for her was her Kindle eBook Reader. It was the perfect solution for a female motorcyclist who didn’t have space for for the dozens of books she reads every year. One particular trilogy she downloaded was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The book is a complete thriller set in Sweden. It follows the intermingling lives of a disgraced journalist, and an outcast young female motorcyclist. The unlikely duo eventually pair up and can only attempt storm their way through a labyrinth of deception, secrets, and brutal violence.
Naturally, Ashley recommended I read it. I wasn’t sold on the idea. When the mainstream Hollywood picture came out I decided to a girl named Lisbeth Salander, and her 125cc Kawasaki cafe racer a chance. Much to my delight, this social reject motorcycle chick is one you don’t want to mess with, and you don’t want to miss.
The movie stars Daniel Craig, not that the plot needs any James Bond starpower or dramatics to keep you engaged. Much like in the book the characters are as real as movie realism gets. They come with their own history, their own lives, their own jobs, their own skills, and their own secrets. The more we get to know them, the more layers we peel off of them, and what shows on the surface rarely matches what lies beneath.
Likewise, the plot manifest itself in a web of half truths. The lives of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, two polar opposites, eventually intermingling in a dark and violent web. A web filled with holes, like missing puzzle pieces, for the two to try to piece together.
Is this a motorcycle movie? Not quite. Not along the lines of The Wild One, or even The World’s Fastest Indian. This is the movie about a girl with a mysterious past, lacking even the most basic of social skills, posessing talents well beyond what everyone expects from a grungy 4’11” misfit. This is a story of a man who made a career uncovering truths and scandals, who himself was shamed. These two underdogs don’t do a whole lot of motorcycle riding, but their characters, the shadowy past of Lisbeth’s character, and the murderous plot they seek to discover is more than enough to leave any motorcyclist on the edge of his or her seat.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the movie so much I decided to read the second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, on my phone’s Kindle app as my before-bed reading. I stayed up many, many a late night reading Lisbeth’s story as she turns from loner, to prey, to predator.