STOCKHOLM aka The Captor in some countries (2018) is a Canadian crime drama. 1hr 32min. 15 Cert U.K. Prime Video (free).
Ethan Hawke as Lars Nystrom
Noomi Rapace as Bianca Lind
Mark Strong as Gunnar Sorensson
Christopher Heyerdahl as Chief Mattsson
Bea Santos as Klara Mardh
Mark Rendell as Elov Ericsson
Shanti Roni as Olof Palme
Christopher Wagelin as Vincent
Thorbjørn Harr as Christopher Lind
Gustaf Hammarsten as Taxi Driver
Director: Robert Budreau
Cinematographer: Brendan Steacy
Writer: Robert Budreau
Hair: Peggy Kyriakidou
Stockholm (The Captor) is based on the New Yorker article “The Bank Drama” by Daniel Lang. The real Norrmalmstorg robbery and hostage crisis is the origin of the term “Stockholm Syndrome”.
“After taking hostages in a Stockholm bank, ex-con Lars Nystrom demands the release of his old partner in crime from prison. As the situation escalates, Lars starts to let down his guard as he develops an uneasy bond with one of the female employees.”
This movie gained mixed reviews but I, for one, really enjoyed it. From the very start it is engaging and it isn’t clear what the end result of the hostage taking actually was (no spoilers from me, if you don’t know already). The storyline is well-developed with character development and relationships deftly created. There is good chemistry between the two leads.
Parts are very exciting, others are equally touching and emotional. What I really liked here was the quirky humour which lightened the mood and also acted as a good contrast to other events. The ineptitude (on all sides) is both hilarious and clearly extremely dangerous.
There is great tension created (good decision not to reveal the final outcome at the start!) especially towards the end, to the point where we as viewers also end up really not wanting anything terrible to happen, to anyone. Very Stockholm Syndrome-like.
Stockholm has really good cinematography with a combination of hand-held camerawork, some great aerials and terrific framing of shots, especially closeups on faces.
At the Canadian Screen Awards of 2019 Robert Budreau won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Peggy Kyriakidou won for Achievement in Hair. Brendan Steacy won the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award for Theatrical Feature Cinematography. Robert Budreau also won the Directors Guild of Canada Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award.
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I have much enjoyed Mark Strong for years,* first noting his face and name in Granada Television’s 2003 two-parter HENRY VIII, where he played the Duke of Norfolk to Ray Winston’s King Henry, and native Texan Hawke, who long ago declared Austin his adopted hometown, is a firm favourite in my viewings and heart.
I’ve heard the term “Stockholm Syndrome” most of my life, and understanding its meaning, but I realise I don’t really know the events’ details. If I ever read about that history it’s long gone from my memory.
Thanks, Davina! It’s on THE LIST. 👍🏽
*It wouldn’t be until after 2011 or so that I saw the ground-breaking mini-series OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH, which featured Strong alongside Christopher Eccleston, Daniel Craig (!), and the wonderful Gina McKee (with a recurring role for Malcolm McDowell!) I’ve watched that epic nine part drama many times.
Thanks for the fantastic comment! Hawke is really good in this and great chemistry with Noomi Rapace. Keep them coming!