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|Index||21 reviews in total|
The current rating on IMDb is too low. This is an enjoyable enough
film. It's certainly worth taking in, especially if you're into crime
The plot is fairly straightforward. Three members of a family are brutally killed, only the oldest boy surviving. He's in a coma though. Police investigator Joona Linna (played by Tobias Zilliacus) ends up investigating the crime. He gets a doctor to come in to hypnotise the boy to identify his assailant, and the doctor succeeds in doing so. (It is apparently possible for comatose patients to talk under hypnosis.) But then the doctor and his family become caught up in the drama. Will the killer be stopped?
It's a good, simple story. The start and end of the movie in particular are quite strong. The climactic scene at the isolated farm was unexpected and the best part of the movie. Spectacular filmmaking really. It had me on the edge of my seat.
The acting was fine. There's a lot of character development involving Joona Linna, Erik Maria Bark (played by Mikael Persbrandt) and his wife Simone (played by Lena Olin). The movie is called "The Hypnotist" but I didn't really see the doctor as being at the centre of the movie.
This is a slow paced movie, a little too slow for me at times. That might be why people have not rated it higher.
Most of the events take place in a hospital and three homes. There are a lot of shots of wintry Stockholm, a suitable backdrop I suppose for a dark Scandinavian crime drama. I enjoyed what I assume is a realistic portrayal of Swedish life. The dialogue was in Swedish, with subtitles. Everything in the movie seemed rather understated and starkly realistic. This is not a grand Sweden of magic and beauty.
As you might expect in a thoroughly Swedish movie, mental illness and human foibles are the major crime themes. No Hollywood moralising here about good and evil, right and wrong.
Bias disclosure: This is not my favourite genre. I know next to nothing about Scandinavian crime novels, television shows and movies. I haven't even yet read the Larsson "Girl" trilogy, although my sister gave it to me two years ago. Even most American or British crime shows don't interest me, although I am an avid fan of Law & Order.
Also, I went to see this movie without knowing anything about it. Haven't read the book. I didn't even know it was a Swedish movie. Even so, I thought it was OK. You might too.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Contains some spoilers! With a script based on a best selling crime novel, a Hollywood director (Lasse Hallström), a big budget (SEK 61 million = almost USD 10 million), two star actors (Mikael Persbrandt and Lena Ohlin) you would think the result would be exceptional. It is. Exceptionally bad unfortunately. The peculiar murder story has so many plot wholes it becomes laughable. Trying to explain one will just tear up a new one. For example: What made the murderer follow his mothers instructions and murder his family? Why would a mother instruct her son to stab himself in the chest so that he almost dies? How did the mother get a job at the hospital? Why would the mother suddenly think the hypnotist's son is hers? Absolutely nothing is explained. The main character detective Jonna Linna is incredibly weak and dull. Almost nothing is revealed about his private life and absolutely no character development. Instead way too much time is spent on Mikael Persbrandt and Lena Ohlin's characters and their relationship, which is not relevant at all to the main story. The way the police acts is just stupid. Would the parents of a kidnapped son be allowed to come with the police to the kidnappers house? Would a police officer lower his gun when standing face to face with a kidnapper armed with a shotgun and responsible for the murder of several persons? I don't think so. Several supporting characters and plots are presented without any relevance to the main story. Trust me, this is a complete mess. The fact that this film was Sweden's foreign-language Oscar submission is nothing but a joke. The Oscar academy wisely did not nominate it.
The film is quite enjoyable but it does not come close to the book. I think this is the main reason why the movie has such a low rating: majority of people watching this film were first readers of the book. I did not expect word for word adaptation of the book, but this film does not do justice to the story. It alters and reinvent the story. It takes a few motives from the book but that's it. I was quite disappointment. Maybe I am biased and I'm judging the film in comparison to the book. But what can I say, the screen play is just bad. What it has me baffled is, why did the two authors allow the release of the movie in state as it is? If only goal was commercial success than I am deeply disappointed.
The movie features internationally known actors who perform excellent
with the material they have got to work with. I never got to sympathize
with any of them though, the script and the way Lasse Hallstrom directs
never lets me. There is a fast pace throughout the movie where things
just happen without visible motive or any chance of contemplation,
which makes it feel erratic at best. All you can do as a watcher is to
lean back and disconnect the grey cells.
As far as the plot goes, there are huge plot elements missing from the Swedish best selling book of 2009 which in my opinion never was that great to begin with. With the parts that gave the books some depth excluded we are left with a shallow story at most.
At least Lena Olins performance elevated the movie a notch, and I believe no other Swedish director than Hallstrom would have been able to provoke the feelings she is showing. The other actors were fair to good, not more not less.
I would not recommend this movie even if you have two hours to spare.
i thought the movie was quite good while watching it. it is a nice
thriller, with suspense to the very end.
somewhat strange motivations of the main villain, but then you probably cannot really connect to insane motives.
it was kind of strange that while the hypnotist's character was well developed, with character history and family environment, the other main character - the cop, was very under-developed.
apart from this and a few weak moments that every decent thriller carries in order to support the storyline, it is a pretty good production
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw this at the world premiere expecting another Swedish TV-drama, of
which the Swedes are so good at making, though I'm a bit bored of the
mass production of them. This, however, is directed by Lasse Hallstrom,
which I think is an interesting director. Maybe Sweden's best, behind
"What's eating Gilbert Grape", "My life as a dog", "The Ciderhouse
rules", "Chocolate" and "An unfinished life". Being married to Lena
Olin, no wonder he has a good touch directing her.
A viewer watching this film after Watching Danish/Swdish "Broen" (The Bridge") or other recent Nordic crime stories must think Sweden is a dark, moody and dreary winter-Siberia. I didn't read the novel from which this is based upon by the pseudonym Lars Kepler, written by the married couple Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril. It was a great sales success, but received bland critics.
Nor will I read it after watching this, I can promise, but it surprises me that those reading this in beforehand will have any pleasure seeing this after wards either. The whole story must be given away. Or should I say stories, because it's at least three of them here. That is also some of the films many problems. it seems like the two writers couldn't decide between please and pain, or which story they wanted to tell here.
When that is said, the acting performances are really god. Persbrandt is good, and especially Olin is amazing. A really believable stung housewife losing her child. This is the strongest part of the film.
What ruins this is not the dark feeling, but the story. It's simply not easy to believe so much of this. It all goes over bend a little over half way through the film, and then 134 minutes is too long. I'm sorry to say that you end up waiting for it to end, and worse is that you don't get to know why either. But instead a great ending with a happy family. But what about the meaning of all this? Well, that's down to the script makers.
Not One of Hallstroms best, maybe his worst, as I see that his bottom rating on IMDb after 26 movies is a 30 year old film, rating 5,44.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a big fan of both Lasse Hallström and Swedish crime drama (Beck,
Wallander etc), so needless to say I was expecting a lot from this. I
didn't come here before watching, so I had no idea of the low score and
I can tell you it's totally justified, maybe even too high.
Crime drama clearly is not Lasse Hallströms forte. He's done some remarkable films and often creates very likable, believable and true to life characters. While Persbrandt and Olin create somewhat solid characters, they are still miles away from characters Hallström has previously put on screen. The rest of the cast on the other hand is just amazingly dull and underdeveloped.
I haven't read any detective Joona Linna books, so I have no knowledge of him as a character. And after watching this movie I still know absolutely nothing about him. I don't know if he is also downplayed in the books, but in this movie he's just plain uninteresting. There is no background info at all. The detective characters are the driving force behind all crime series. Wallander and Beck are both very solid and interesting characters as is the Norwegian Varg Veum. Germans have crafted the art of "krimi" for years and are masters in that genre. Hallström clearly hasn't watched any of those. Altho I was wondering at times if they had just made a bad casting choice with Tobias Zilliacus and wanted to minimize his screen time in editing and instead focus on Persbrandt and Olin, who steal the show. Zilliacus - at least with his screen time - is incredibly boring and lacks charisma.
Then the story. While initially interesting, the script is just horrible. I will probably have to read the book just to see how they filled in the plot holes that ended up in the movie. Absolutely nothing is logical here. Why did the crime happen? The relationship between the boy and his mother is a complete mystery. A lot of loose ends like her sister. It's a complete mess and the pacing is horrible. The finale is rushed after spending way too much time on everything else.
The only positive things in this movie is the relatively atmospheric cinematography and the acting by Mikaeal Persbrandt. Since this was the first of the Linna series, there will probably be more. They probably wanted a big name to direct the first and then make the rest with a different crew and an established crime series director like Kjell Sundvall or Anders Engström (atleast I hope so).
Not for fans of the genre.
First of all, if you can read something, better do that and only then
watch the movie. To see if your imagination and fantasy after reading
something is near/far from something that the director had in his mind.
The book itself is solid, interesting read, I love thrillers and mysteries and as a thriller there are multiple options to make you think that you know the answer. To some it might be predictable, to some like me, are let to be driven by the book. It is a long book and has some parts that could have been shorter ... but at the finish you feel good about it.
The movie however, I know it is difficult to put everything in a two hour movie, plus to keep the focus and the things interesting, but the scenario is changed. There are so many good book adaptations on screen, but sadly this is not one of them. So many things are not like they are shown in the movie. That is what bothered me the most. Stick to the story! And secondly I was not impressed with the acting at all. Very frigid, yes I know the book is a little bit dark and the characters are as well, but somehow even the slightest emotions are presented very cold and robotic.
You don't have to agree, after all that is my opinion. And to conclude my opinion, I say read the book. Much more fun.
Although the plot is based on a solid book, there are too many too long scenes not providing additional value to the film (especially those in the darkness) - apparently, the world-famous director Lasse Halström wanted to act in the line of Wallander-Beck-Blomkvist type of films, but the Linna- Mark tandem is less elaborated and weaker; well, Mikael Persbrandt is great as Erik Maria Bark, so is Lena Olin as Simone Bark, but they are both long-time highly recognised character actors. The plot has also several confusing and unanswered moments, the ending gives a solution (rather dramatic and peculiar), but it is strange why the film was selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar - it is definitely not among the top films with Hallström's participation. Nevertheless, it is watchable to those fond of Swedish crime thrillers.
It's a strange feeling, watching Swedish genre movies of this kind.
Because, even as a swede myself. It never feels natural. It feels like
a pale imitation of something that HBO would slap together for an
episode of another CSI knockoff.
Starting of with the plot. Which is infuriatingly predictable. And if it's one thing a thriller shouldn't force its viewer to do it's to make us sit and patiently wait for the characters to catch up with the obvious conclusions that the viewer has already reached. This makes the few points that the movie does well into forgettable set-pieces. Things will happen that are mildly intriguing. But then a character will do something that just makes you want to slap them. They'll start to whine. Argue about something non-relevant. I swear. For a long time I even forgot that there was a murder in the movie because the story got so bogged down with lazily written marital problems. For most of the film I was simply thinking two things: "Get on with it!" and "Why are we still here?". And even "Naw, it couldn't be that simple? right? oh, it seems like... yup... they really think this was clever?"
And then there's the characters. My summary mentions Lena Ohlin. And yes. She did become my biggest gripe here. Every scene she was on screen I grew to dislike her even more than the last scene. When not picking unnecessary fights with everyone she meets she's being either hysterical or well... a bit less hysterical. I don't think it's the fault of the actress. Because I think no one would be able to save the characters written into the film. Bland. Uninteresting. Two-dimensional cardboard cutouts of personalities. Again. It's like watching a bad imitation of a mediocre American cop-show where the filmmakers think they're doing the next Sixth Sense.
In many ways it reminds me of the recent series called Äkta Människor. It's that feeling that you're watching a product that the makers are so fond of. But has no idea what has already been done in the genre. Or even worse, they figure that the audience (Swedish middle-class) hasn't seen the films they are influenced by.
About the only redeeming aspect here is the cinematography. But even that where mostly drab grey. Dark and bland...
But as it seems to have been fairly well received I might be in the minority here. It had a couple of interesting ideas in execution. But at the same time it's just too bogged down in mediocrity to stand out in any way, shape or form.
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