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|Index||16 reviews in total|
"Bergman is dead, long live the movies!" is the best way I can describe
this mini seen at the special premiere opening.
Finally Swedish movie makers dare to mix a historic event with fiction and make something more fun, beautiful and exciting than just a Bergman drama or a reality show. But of course, when Måns and Björn do something it's done for the public and not just the critics.
What really strikes me is the characters, they are so vivid! Excellent acting makes the story feel true. They seem to be living at that time and place and really bring you in to their world. I can't think of one single actor that could be replaced, they all do it so well.
A special note on the music (no pun intended), it's by far the best score in a Swedish movie yet. Buy the DVD if you have surround sound in your home, it will be worth it.
I think this mini set a new standard for film making in Sweden, showing that it is possible to make beautiful movies in Europe. And we want 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wanted so much to like this movie. The trailer was promising. The
period in Swedish/Danish history is very interesting and should lend
itself to great stories. But it just felt so low-budget. Kinda like the
stuff you see on "Hallmark".
The vigilante heroes where portrayed as "The gang that couldn't shoot straight", and the murderous king turned out to be good in the end.
Imagine a a film about the intifada financed by Fox and you get the picture.
Good photo. Good music. Terrible screenplay. Anachronistic feeling. You're almost looking for wrist watches and airplanes.
Sad when the topic is important.
It could have been great. Now it's not.
This is a poor series when it comes to the script. The filming is OK,
but the dialogue is really just a waste of time. The characters are
just repeating themselves and talking about what to do instead of
actually doing it (but perhaps that's pretty accurate when it comes to
I can't see why there should be a problem to create a great story on the subject, with all the necessary ingredients. It seems no time at all was spent on doing research. I do NOT want Sweden to go down the road of "nevermind historical correctness, just give the audience a story" when it comes to movies based on actual historic events or periods of time.
The potential was there, but this production blew it.
Good acting, good story, but poor in a historical perspective. The movie set in the time period of Scanian war between Swedes and Danes tells the story of a man who's family is murdered by the Swedes. The main character joins a band of Scanian freedom fighters to seek revenge on the people murdering his family. Places and events are totally fictional which made me a bit disappointed. Maybe I was hoping for a Scanian version of Braveheart/The patriot etc. The name Snapphane, which was used as a pejorative term by the Swedes to describe the pro-Danish rebels,is used by everyone in the movie. Had the people behind the mini series done a better research to make it historical correct I would have giving it a higher vote. Acting and parts of the story is worth 7/10 votes, historically 1/10 so my final vote will be a 4 out of 10. I hope the mini series become an inspiration for others to make more movies in the same genre.
Worst +"#%¤ ever! Great photo/editing but dialog and the story is awful. Historically there are so many errors it might as well be a fantasy story. Seems like the directors wanted copy cool action scenes from other action films in the hope that would be enough for the viewer regardless logic in the story. The most disturbing fact is that it's financed by tax money that could be spent on really talented scriptwriters and directors. All the good reviews of this movie must be from their production people,in Swedish papers the audience and critics cuts them by the ankles. Compared with Danish TV/film which is hugely successful right now it seems that their Swedish counterpart have plummeted in to a deep black hole!
Why? Well, where do we start? - The people known as "snapphanar" called
themselves "Friskyttar", meaning Free Shooters - snapphane was the
degrading expression used by The Swedish.
- The Costune designer should be put in jail, or at least in historical style education, for using typical 18th century clothing, which is a mistake often seen by role playing amateurs with no money and little knowledge of history, but this was supposed to be SVT's huge expensive great big mega Xmas project...? Hello??!
- The script is a disaster, the plot is ridiculously easily foreseen and the dialog is embarrassingly bad.
- There are so many historical errors and anachronisms that lining them all up here would probably crash the IMDb's disc space. artistically I 'm OK with anachronism, but the production team should always be aware of what they do and why. Seems like Snapphanar was made by a bunch of teenagers whose sole historical knowledge comes from many a late night playing dungeons and dragons... which is a wonderful way of starting an interest in history but it just won't do as full education.
- Dramatically there are also a lot of errors in continuity as well as in credibility. Example: The soldiers guarding the coach with the royal treasure chest seem to be totally unaware of the noise and flickering fire lights coming from the village where the rebels have started a riot.
- And Svart-Stina, what can you say...? Her outfit on the royal ball is not exactly what one would call discreet. *sigh*
- Snapphanar is of course to be regarded as a fantasy, a fictitious tale woven and embroidered upon the cloth of authentic history. But it has been done by people lacking too much knowledge.
- A non-Swede would probably not notice, but the use of Scanian accent in this project is unfortunately, and as many times before, a total disgrace to its audiences. The only actors who actually knows how to speak Scanian - Harald Leander, Per Lasson, to mention some - use accents from a totally different area, but at least they know how to speak it and unlike Jörgen Persson they also know acting. The leading actors, however, André Sjöberg and Malin Morgan (former Larsson), well educated and all, doesn't seem to have had very much time to learn their character's way of talking, there are loads of mal-functious pronunciations that really hurt the ear and is very hard to understand also for a Scanian. Those Scanians living in the Göinge area must feel totally lost and quite embarrassed - I don't think they recognize much. For once it's easy to understand those otherwise pompous Stockholmers who claim that they possibly just cannot understand Scanian Sw3edish. I think not even Scanians understand the gibberish urging from the mouths of Svart-Stina and Nils Getting. Sad.
- According to SVT ( Swedish Television)'s homepage the shooting of the entire miniseries took 47 days. That's quite fast for such a prestigious project. Especially considering the fact that the directors have worked 2 and a half years on creating the series. Seems like 90% of the time and financial resources have been spent on special effects. They're quite nice. But nothing that we haven't already seen in films like LOTR, Gladiator, Braveheart a.s.o.
- The same thing could be said about the music that, stuffed like a plum pudding with movie score clichés and with some small exceptions sounds like a total ripoff from anything produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Very Where Eagles Dare, very U.S. Marine Corps, very Hollywood, very full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
But alas, mind you, this could have been a very good movie..
What this film suffers from, and so many other Swedish contemporary films, are the lack of individuality. The glances towards Hollywood are obvious especially in the editing and the cliché's in manuscript. The script is the biggest flaw here. The historical angle (even though a bit resculpted) works fine, but the dialog is absolutely horrible. And as mentioned the cliché's and straight forward plot could have (and has been) stolen from many American adventurefilms. The camera work are very good, the mis-en-scene works fine as well even though the budget was low. Some of the wholeness and flow is disrupted and destroyed from the editing, especially in the fighting scenes. It seems that sometimes the producer has stepped in and said "Too little action here boys, fix that!" The result is just bad version of Matrix crosscutting. Sound works fine as well, works fine on surround. The music tends to be a bit repetitive though. The last twenty minutes plays the same "tick-tock" inspired music that has been in every Swedish TV- production since times beginning. (A pedagogical way to show the viewer that time is of essence. Feel free to get stressed.)
All in all it works as a film made for TV. There are some good actors here but they often get nowhere with their twodimensional characters and lousy dialog.
Biggest plus: A daring try to make film out of Swedish history. Biggest minus: The scriptwriter should be flogged.
This is by far one of Swedens best efforts ever in the historical epic genre. It looks excellent and expensive, thanks to the effort of the superb cinematographer and Stein/Mårlind. In addition to the highly accomplished look of the film, the story is also fast-paced and holds together to the end, the acting is uniformly excellent as well. I admit to being somewhat biased in my review, as I have been connected to the production as a composer/arranger, alongside the main composer. I have written the orchestral arrangements and composed some additional horror/ambient music cues which has been put to great use and adds a nice flavour to the overall score, I think. Fun that another commenter noticed the music. Sadly, many people couldn't just accept this on its own terms, as a fun action film, and just saw the historical inaccuracies. Funny that many people enjoy western films although they seldom have anything to do with reality.
This movie has such a large and ambitious goal so it's no wonder it
misses the mark here and there. To tell a complicated and grand-scale
story with a classic set of characters and a real bad guy(who even
get's a fancy bad guy's mask), with historical issues to recognize, and
deal with a lot of other issues that arise in this sort of movie, is
hard and it's really nothing for two guys who seem to be in it for the
fun of it.
Still, you can feel Stein and Mårlind have done a real effort. There is fancy camera-work and a fancy score, there is a script with some twists and turns, there are scenes with a lot of extras and gunfights, and some pretty grave liberties taken with Swedish history(which is good in these movies).
One of the biggest problems is pacing. There's no good flow, and I think pacing is one of the largest problems for inexperienced filmmakers.
Acting is very varied. Kim Bodnia is of course the experience pool of this project, and he's good as usual, with his cool Danish uniform and un-characteristically tidy facial appearance. On second place I put Harald Leander(he played Nils's father), since I actually know the guy a bit, so I knew he was actually acting and not being himself. His performance was good, and definitely the best of the Swedish ones. The lead man is OK, nothing memorable. The bad guy (Anders Ekborg) was pretty good, and has one of the funniest parts to play.
Gustaf Skarsgård and Malin Morgan are also somewhat memorable(even though I got serious Ondskan-vibbar).
Music is good the first 3/4s of the movie but at the end it's just a monotone ticking "hurry-up" melody which really got annoying.
It was good for what it was; a Scanian semi-epic, meant for one viewing over the course of three days. I would never watch this all at once and I regret I could not see it on a large screen.
5.5/10 for the movie, 8/10 for Skåne!
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