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Average Swedish crime film with a wasted hypnotism angle
A straightforward Swedish crime thriller starring Mikael Persbrandt, of HAMILTON fame. The story is based on a novel and I'm reliably informed that, as per usual, much of the best material was cut out, leaving this a distinctly average addition to the genre.
The story begins with a brutal massacre in which an entire family are slaughtered by an unknown assailant. The exasperated police then call in a renowned hypnotist in order to bring the sole survivor out of a coma and find out details of the perpetrator. Much is made of the hypnotism angle but truthfully it only occurs a couple of times in the movie and feels rather wasted as an angle.
THE HYPNOTIST suffers from a lack of interesting characters, particularly the investigating detective who's as bland as they come. Lena Olin is incredibly annoying as Persbrandt's harridan of a wife, and only Persbrandt himself retains sympathy for the viewer. The storyline isn't bad, and it does have a sufficiently dark and vicious edge, but director Lasse Hallstrom does a workmanlike job at best and should stick to the insufferable likes of CHOCOLAT.
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