Snapphanar (TV Mini-Series 2006) Poster


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Mattias Petersson31 December 2006
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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Bergman är död, länge leve filmen!
Lars Larsson23 November 2006
"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.
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mats-5827 December 2006
Warning: 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.
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Poor in a historical perspective
ddr00428 November 2006
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.
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One of Swedens best efforts ever
fred-837 December 2006
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.
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Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
mis-530 December 2006
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.

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Poor series I'm afraid
pelles_box26 December 2006
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 portraying swedes?).

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.
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A sad day for Swedish film-making
per_hansson6828 December 2006
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!
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Another Swedish production down the drain..
nyx905 December 2006
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.

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A new huge step for Swedish film making.
marcus-berguv12 December 2006
Mårlind/Stein already prove themselves as a couple of genuine pioneers for Swedish film when they created their previous film 'Storm'. They do the same with 'Snapphanar', it's a Swedish Braveheart/The Patriot/Gladiator. The acting is fair, the sets and costumes are great. As for the historical accuracy, I can't be the one who tells how much of it is based on facts. But there's no need to make a historical correct film, when you're trying to tell a spectacular story about the war between Denmark and Sweden. We've got a bloody history, that much is a fact. The film is a great piece of work and a new huge step for Swedish film making. This has hopefully opened up the door for new exciting Swedish epics.
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mattep7426 December 2006
The series is awful and is full of historical inaccuracies and shouldn't be allowed to be marketed at all. Heck, even Mell Gibson could have done a better job with this.

Even those who lives in Skane don't understand what the farmers are saying without translations. If you want a more accurate story about Snapphanar see the movie with Edward Persson.

And Svart-Stina is some sort of Swedish version of Xena. I was waiting for her to draw two swords at one time or another and kill every Swedish soldier in sight and then begin chanting some spells.

Only good thing in this fiasco is Tuva Novotny that actually tries to act her way out of the mess she is in
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Good Historical Adventure
m0rg1627 January 2007
It's a good film. I just watched and expected more or less a cheesy adventure. And while the first 40 minutes of the film are as if lifted from a Hollywood adventure movie, it then unravels into something more intriguing and interesting. The ending is definitely worth waiting for. Lots of twists as well.

Swedish themes surge through the entire film, however. These might be hard to pick up for a non-Swede but they are there. The Swedish idea of pacifism and neutrality shows itself in form of the king (Gustaf Skarsgård) Carl XI, who only wants to kick the Danes out of his lands and sign a peace treaty. Evil, on the other hand, are not the Danes, but rather a greedy Nobleman who wants to conquer Denmark and all the states surrounding the Baltic Sea. This is a rather modern conception as well. Back then, Denmark and Sweden WERE enemies. And they probably did one-another as "evil".

The production value is surprisingly high. I was expecting something really poor in terms of... everything really. But the film team really pulled it off well. My only gripe is that in certain scenes where extras are involved, they pull of a really bad acting job. I don't know why, but Swedish filmmakers don't seem to give the same heart and soul into their extras as, say, Hollywood producers would.

In any case, the story is good. Keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. It's not always perfectly paced, however. I found the film to pace badly towards the middle. But after awhile it comes back in full swing.

Watch it if you want to see a good adventure. Swedish people probably get to hung up on the fact that it's "Swedish" and thus dismiss it outright before they even see it. But it's good! Surprisingly good, actually. So if you're Swedish and have already decided that you're going to hate this film, don't bother. If you want a good historical adventure, on the other hand, then watch this!
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A Swedish adventurous movie
Sandra Nilsson20 December 2006
Historically wrong, but the plot is great. Even if the historical facts are wrong the movie is quite good. The movie tells the story of Snapphanarna in Skåne (the southest "state" of Sweden") and the war between Sweden and Denmark during the 17 th century when Skåne became a part of Sweden instead of Denmark. Snapphanarna was a "movement" amongst the citizens of Skåne that were against the swedes overtaking their land and on occasion forcing them to swear their oath to the Swedish king instead of the danish. Party brutal scenes, but probably not the way things happened back during the 17 th century.

The word Snapphane was an insult word, snappa in English snatch, and was used as a word of abuse. There were different categories of Snapphanar, normally we count three different, highwaymen, free shooters working for the danish army and many of these were thieves and robbers.
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Crossbows, brutal sword fights and blood
Fredrik Westlund10 December 2006
This is one of the best Swedish Movies i ever seen. If you like Vikings/crossbows and swords see it! Denmark attacks scone, no mans land. Sweden defends their self and attacks the Danish troops, they doesn't want Denmark in scone. They might want more land then that. Swedish troops from middle of Sweden, Stockholm does not like people living in scone (skåningar) and they burn and kill those who refuse to fight against Denmark.

Rebel groups called "Snapphanar" is growing up to take the fight against the Swedish troops that is burning their villages and killing their wife's and children.

I live in Sweden, and i love Sweden. I have never liked Skane, but Swedes was pigs in this movie and i my hate against them growth stronger and stronger during the film. Go Snapphanar, go go go!
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count_zer0-113 December 2006
Sorry, must have missed it as a mini. You do mean mini as a min-series on TV don't you? I only saw it as a 2h40m movie of DVD and it was superb. I have alway envisioned Snapphanar as the ultimate freedom-fighters even though I'm a Swede to the death. This movie puts my priorities to shame when you see what atrocities the Swedish army condoned to get the job done, the job being showing the farmers of Skåne what would happen if they supported the Danish army and the Swedes would win the war war. To all you non-swedes, this movie is a cross between The Patriot and Sleepy Hollow, aka Time Well Spent. Of course there is no Gibson or Depp in this one, and it's in a foreign language, but hey!, you might enjoy it anyway =)
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Slightly better than other Swedish productions but still not quite there...
MrVibrating30 December 2006
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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