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To get an order for 1,000 yachts from a middle-east sheik, two boat companies have to race 'Göta Kanal', a canal through Sweden, east to west. There are no rules in this game and the winner gets the order.
Stig Ossian Ericson
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For 30 days after its premiere on Swedish TV, it was made available for free viewing on SVT's website. See more »
When Olof Geting tells the story about his idea of marching across the belts, in the flashback after the battle you can clearly see the uniforms the Swedish troops use. They didn't exist in 1658, it wasn't until Karl XI (Karl X Gustav's son and heir) gave the army it's uniforms and colors. See more »
Another year, another Swedish public-service Christmas spectacle. Every year around Christmas SVT has a new "big" production to show, and every year it feels at least a little bit disappointing. And as far as these go, "Snapphanar" has to be one of the worst in recent years.
What shocks me most about this production is undoubtedly the incredibly low level of ambition. It's always easier for me to forgive a movie when it aims for the stars and fail. "Snapphanar" barely aims for the tree-line it seems, and still it disappoints. Maybe it's a sign of extremely low self-esteem in Swedish public-service?
The strange thing is that on the surface this production is not that bad. The visuals are pretty good, the production values are not bad for a (in international perspective) low-budget production. But under the cracks in the surface you can see how shallow it is. Here we see the low ambition that i mentioned earlier. Historical facts are fabricated, changed or just simply ignored. And the script seems to be written by a ten-year-old. The plot is simplistic, the "twists" can be seen a mile away and the story itself is uninteresting and bland. As a theme the story about "Snapphanar" could be interesting. It's (as far as i know) a rather unique thing in Swedish history. A partisan group wanting to make the shire "Skåne" part of Denmark instead of Sweden, fighting armed battle for their cause. But the whole premise is squandered here by poor writing and non-existent regard for historical facts. Also the fact that these partisan rebels seem to be a gang completely inane idiots doesn't help. They are portrayed like a bunch of stumbling do-gooders completely without fighting skill, making it very clear why Skåne is still Swedish today.
Well, how about entertainment value? Sometimes a decent entertainment value on the surface can save even the most shallow movie. Not in this case though i'm afraid. There are just too many things to be annoyed about even if you don't think to closely about what you're watching. The incomprehensible accents (sounding like the Skåne-dialect mixed with Danish and a tinge of retardation), the "Le Pacte des loups"-inspired fighting scenes that lack energy, and the names and dialog that makes you laugh at the most inappropriate moments. Directors Mårlind and Stein have a distinctive Hollywood-complex that also shines through in a disturbing way.
I don't know how much "Snapphanar" cost to produce. It looks more expensive than most standard Swedish TV-fare but since it was made in Estonia it was probably quite cheap. No matter though since this was definitely a case of very little bang for your buck. I just wonder when Swedish TV and film-makers will understand that a good and solid script is the base in every good movie. When they understand that and hire someone decent to write the script (instead of burning their money on fight-scenes filmed from three angles), then maybe this could be entertainment rather than just a bland and boring waste of money and time.
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