Stockholm 2018 movie

Stockholm – The world’s most famous and strange robbery

Many are familiar with the term “Stockholm Syndrome,” when a hostage becomes friends or even falls in love with his captor, but how many know that it comes from a real news fact fictionalized in this 2018 movie?

Indeed, it was a quiet morning in 1973 when young Lars Nystrom set foot in the Sveriges Kredit Bank, a financial institution in downtown Stockholm, taking some people hostage and demanding to talk to the police.

Lars aims not only for money but pretends his old friend Gunnar Sorensson is released from prison and joins him before they escape together.

The trouble is handled by none other than Prime Minister Olof Palme, who plans to keep a tough stance and not give in to menaces, except to let Sorensson out of prison when Lars threatens to shoot the beautiful employee Bianca Lind.

However, a strange attraction arises between Bianca and Lars that develops into complete mutual trust, with her helping and even advising him on the best way to conduct negotiations with the police.

Living in a marriage where every day is dull and repetitive, Bianca experiences for the first time a feeling of complete love with the hot thrill of danger.

Actually, the danger comes more from the police than from the robbers, hardened and shameless criminals who, however, are not the least bit violent; yet they ridicule the policemen and even the Prime Minister with their manner, who changes his mind and wants a forceful raid inside the bank.

As the hours pass long and relentless, Bianca and Lars each tell the other secrets and desires never confessed to anyone, not knowing that their relationship would contribute to the definition and study of one of the cornerstones of modern psychology.

A Strange Victimless Crime Analysis

Robert Budreau directs and writes a black comedy that lies somewhere between crime and romance.

Inspired by a true story, Budreau takes great liberty in depicting events in a grotesque and surreal way, enriching the recipe with numerous references and quotations to other films, not only of the heist genre, such as the famous Dog Day Afternoon or Easy Rider, especially in the colorful and bizarre appearance of the robber played by Ethan Hawke.

The narrative unfolds in a game of cat and mouse, in which the robbers inside the bank become the protagonists, albeit not too evil, while the police, insensitive to the safety of the hostages, come across as a distant and ineffective entity, even if the plot portrays the police and European politicians not as villains but rather as stupid and inept.

Of all of them, it is the character of Noomi Rapace who experiences the most profound change on a psychological level, while the rest of the cast seem to embody various movie stereotypes, adding further nuance to the plot.

In this sense, we have a naive view of Europe on the part of the Americans, while the opposite also emerges in the dialogues between hostages and robbers, with the United States seen as a kind of promised land of dreams.

The editing proceeds slowly in the first half of the film, devoting itself to building relationships between the characters, while the second half focuses on the negotiations and confrontations between the police and the hostages/robbers, now united as one solid group.

A group reminiscent of the old Alamo soldiers, as Ethan Hawke quotes several times, with an irony that never lapses into vulgarity and soft romance that distinguish Stockholm as a movie to experience, despite the meager box office results in 2018.

Friendly faces for friendly heist

At last, we have a heist movie with friendly robbers with whom we are comfortable instead of the usual group of hysterical, violent thugs waving guns under our noses, ready to carry out a massacre.

Not for a moment throughout the movie is there a feeling of danger during this robbery; instead, there is much more concern about what may come from outside, where the police and mass media fuel the tension until the inevitable breakdown.

A movie like Stockholm of 2018 needed an experienced cast and was very versatile, so more than ever, I want to talk about my favorite trio of characters in this story, starting with Ethan Hawke.

As always, the actor proves his talent no matter what film genre he is in, be it the apocalyptic “Leave the World Behind” or the romantic saga of The Before Trilogy, stitching on the character an elegant and almost childlike performance at the same time.

Equally good is his buddy Mark Strong, the usual tough guy face just effective as well as the evil villain as he was in “Captives” or the compassionate friend you can trust with your eyes closed, as in this case or even in the hilarious action/comedy saga of the “Kingsman” movies.

Even better is the amazing Noomi Rapace, without a doubt, the character with the broadest range of emotions between despair, romance, and sex, as well as a tragic/comical skit with her husband to whom she explains how to cook dinner since she is unlikely to be home by evening.

Outside the bank, we do not have many memorable characters, except for the brilliant dialogues between police chief Christopher Heyerdahl and Prime Minister Shanti Roney, excellent comedians who compete between who can keep a straight face while being so stupid.

I repeat that this is not a movie where one should expect too much realism, as the style is deliberately pulp to be entertainment and not a psychological treatise on Stockholm syndrome, managing to tell all that is essential without ever being boring for a minute. Unfortunately, we cannot always say the same about everything that comes out in theaters.

Stockholm 2018 movie
Amazon Prime Video
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