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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 dramas.
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.
35 of 49 people found this review helpful.
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