🇸🇪 CLARK 🇸🇪
Clark (2022) is a Swedish miniseries on Netflix. Action/comedy/crime/drama/thriller. 6 x 54-1hr 9 min episodes. Swedish with English subtitles (dubbing available). 15 Certificate U.K.
“This is the incredible story behind Sweden’s most notorious gangster, Clark Olofsson, whose infamous crimes gave rise to the term “Stockholm Syndrome”. IMDb
Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson
Vilhelm Blomgren as Tommy Lindström
Sandra Ilar as Ingbritt Olofsson
Hanna Björn as Maria
Peter Viitanen as Sten Olofsson
Kolbjörn Skarsgård as Young Clark
Lukas Wetterberg as Teen Clark
Agnes Lindström as Ingela
Isabelle Grill as Madou
Malin Levanon as Liz
Adam Lundgren as Kurre Räven
Christoffer Nordenrot as Janne Olsson
Daniel Hallberg as Hiller
Alicia Agneson as Kicki
Writers: Fredrik Agetoft, Peter Arrhenius, Jonas Åkerlund
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Composer: Mikael Åkerfeldt
Editors: Rickard Krantz, Nils Moström
Casting: Tor Nyman, Johannes Persson, Donatas Sinukauskas
Production Design: Emma Fairley, Dave Marshall
Art Directors: Paulius Jurevicius, Moa Nyman
Costume Designer: Susie Coulthard
Hair and Makeup Supervisors: Katie Kresser, Petra Macura
Makeup Designers: AnnaCarin Lock, My Alehammer
Music Supervisor: Magnus Palmborg
Bill Skarsgård dropped out of the film The Northman to do this series.
Clark was filmed in Lithuania and Croatia as well as Stockholm, Sweden.
Jonas Åkerlund is well known for his music videos which have won him 3 Grammy Awards.
I watched some episodes of Clark while visiting Stockholm and I must say there is something to be said for watching a series or film in its country of origin.
Clark Olofsson himself is the focus of this miniseries and, as is made clear at the start of each episode, it is based on truths and lies. This is not, just in case you were wondering, a documentary. It is also not for the prudish or the easily offended and it lays its wares out in this respect right from the very first scene. Pearl-clutchers, you have been duly warned.
Central to this show is the character of Clark Olofsson, who comes over as the smartest, most attractive man in the room – at least in his own mind. Bill Skarsgård’s charismatic performance and embodiment of a narcissistic psychopath (for that is what Clark is shown to be) is captivating and astonishing.
The rest of the supporting cast is excellent especially Christoffer Nordenrot as Janne Olsson and including Adam Lundgren as I have never seen him before and Peter Viitanen as Clark’s father, Sten, and Sandra Ilar as his mother, Ingbritt. It is the combination of violence and abuse from his father with an overcompensation yet instability from his mother that seems to have produced the perfect storm for his later amoral, self-aggrandising, delusional actions.
We see Clark’s early life revealed in flashbacks throughout and it is through these that we can glimpse at the abuse that caused, at least in part, the formation of his extremely flawed, criminally and socially deviant personality. He consistently blames everyone except himself for the results of all his terrible choices and never accepts personal responsibility for any of the damage he causes.
Although by the end events may seem repetitious to the viewer I feel that this is really the whole point. By the time we are inwardly muttering to ourselves “Not again!” it is abundantly clear that Clark is in a pattern of behaviour that he will never change and does not even desire to change.
The only person that matters to Clark Olofsson is… Clark Olofsson. That this is probably caused by childhood trauma is a reason for his being like this but not an excuse. He has zero impulse control and absolutely no conscience, although he can be very charming and mimic desired behaviours when he wants or needs to.
One aspect that is returned to time and again in this series is press coverage of his activities (some of them frankly appalling) and his “fan club”. There are always those who are drawn to the “bad guy” but for Clark his No.1 fan is… himself. He thinks he is absolutely fantastic!
I loved the directional choices in this series, its snappy pacing and the wide variety of visuals – these are real positives spilling over from someone with a music video making background. Combined with these visuals (which include animation) are a terrific sound design, music score and soundtrack. There were many scenes that I loved including the Jailhouse Rock dance homage.
As well as the direction and cinematography I loved the art design, the colour palettes, the sets and the amazing costuming. These all helped to capture specific times and places. The 1980s sections were my favourite.
Of course, the bank hostage-taking and siege that gave us “Stockholm Syndrome” inevitably features and I for one appreciated that it was just one part of the puzzle in this crazy biopic series.
From a storytelling perspective, it is clear that Clark is an unreliable narrator and that “truths and lies” permeate this story and for someone like Clark Olofsson himself… the difference is irrelevant.
I do not think that anyone will come out at the end of watching this series not highly entertained. It made me laugh a lot, out loud and very loudly! It is without a doubt rude, crude, violent, quite sexy and involves drugs and criminal behaviour so if that is not your “cup of tea”…
Likewise, I would be shocked (disappointed actually) if anyone likes Clark Olofsson very much by the end. This is a man who, like a whirlwind, left a trail of devastated lives in his wake, who merrily betrayed everyone and anyone when it served his interests and needs to do so. He does love what he sees in the mirror though.
I loved the sheer energy of this series and especially its central performance.
Very highly recommended.
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