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The Bomber (2001)
"Sprängaren" (original title)

4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 1,507 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

The Victoriastadium is totally destroyed in a bomb attack and Christina Furhage, head-responsible for the Olympic Games in Stockholm, dies with it. Why did someone destroy the stadium and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Örjan Ramberg ...
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Brasse Brännström ...
Nils Langeby
...
Beata Ekesjö
Niklas Hjulström ...
Ewa Fröling ...
Maria Lundqvist ...
Eva-Britt Qvist
Tomas Pontén ...
Evert Danielsson
...
Tomas Fryk ...
Jacob Ericksson ...
Pelle Oskarsson
Nina Gunke ...
Karin Lindström
Gunilla Röör ...
Helena Starke
...
Hans Bjällra
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Storyline

The Victoriastadium is totally destroyed in a bomb attack and Christina Furhage, head-responsible for the Olympic Games in Stockholm, dies with it. Why did someone destroy the stadium and why is Christina murdered? The police desperately seek for clues that will lead them to the perpetrator but without any luck. As the Olympic Games draws near the situation becomes more desperate. Annika Bengtzon, a reporter for Kvällsposten, se a connection that no one else sees and without understanding it she starts a carousel that in the end will threaten her own life. Written by Magnus Asplund

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Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

24 October 2001 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Bomber  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter - Prime Time (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Stilla Natt
Performed by Alolf Fredriks goss- och flickkör
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User Reviews

 
A hyped paperback on the silver screen?
13 September 2005 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

A few years ago, "Sprängaren" was one of the most hyped and popular movies in Sweden. Just like the novel the movie is based on was when it was released. So far I have only seen the movie, and after the impression it made on me, I doubt I'll ever get around to reading the book. But I can't say for certain.

The story:

Annika Bengtzon* is a middle-aged female journalist working for a Swedish evening paper, "Kvällspressen", her articles covering a series of bombings in Stockholm, starting with a recently built stadium, meant to be used in the upcoming Olympics. As any good journalist (Or any journalist?), she starts digging around a little, making some interesting discoveries. Before long, Bengtzon has the undivided and most unwanted attention of the bomber. And that's about it, should I tell you more about the plot, I might start giving it away.

My opinion, short:

"Sprängaren" is a movie worth watching, as long as you don't have to pay for it. I would never rent it on tape or DVD, or go see it at the theaters, but it's worth watching on TV. But it doesn't even come close to the hype surrounding it. It is not the masterpiece it has been promoted as. Rather a quite mediocre thriller of the kind you could expect to find as paperback in a local supermarket, or at the railway station or airport.

My opinion, long:

One of the most evident weaknesses is in my opinion the predictability. Nothing really surprised me, so to say. No twists, no mysteries. To a fairly observant viewer, the identity of the bomber will become evident quite soon. But not to this supposedly clever and competent journalist? I fail to see the logic in that.

As stated, I haven't read the book yet. And it's likely that I never will - The movie didn't impress me. Especially not after the tremendous hype that surrounded it when it was made a few years ago. Without this hype, I might have felt differently. But as it is, it was a sad disappointment.

I believe that there are three reasons for the hype:

1. The author is Liza Marklund, an already well known columnist and journalist at a Swedish newspaper/tabloid. The novel itself was basically considered and promoted as a masterpiece before the final print. - Without the background Marklund has, and the subsequent connections she has within the Swedish media industry, would this novel even have been printed? Would it have received those high ratings if the reviewers hadn't been her colleagues and co-workers?

2. Colin Nutley directed it. Nutley have previously made a number of movies that I consider very good. "Änglagård" is one example, arguably the best Swedish drama ever filmed. - This is a different kind of movie, that might require another kind of director with a different background and experience?

3. The lead actress was Helena Bergström (Nutleys wife), quite an accomplished actress with a long and successful career behind her. - Bergström absolutely shines when she stars in more conventional roles, but maybe this isn't her kind of role?

Since we don't have any really accomplished novelists/writers in Sweden at this time, I suppose the hype was inevitable. The most popular novel was picked to make a movie out of, the most prized director was put in the director's chair, which of course meant Bergström in the female lead***. Leading to very high expectations.

----------------

Footnotes:

* Annika Bengtzon is a more or less fictional version of Liza Marklund, who wrote the novel this movie is based on. The letter "z" in the names are a kind of link between them, since that letter rarely is a part of any of those names, where it replaces the letter "s".

** "Kvällspressen" is a fictional newspaper inspired by tabloids "Aftonbladet" and "Expressen", the word "kvällspress" is a slang term for "tabloid" in Sweden.

*** No matter the movie, plot or cast, Nutley always casts his wife in the female lead. A Woody Allen-ish policy that at times annoy me, especially when I feel that there could have been more suitable choices.


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