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A semi-fictional account, including most of the names of the players being changed, of the event that resulted in the creation of the term Stockholm Syndrome to describe people who feel empathy and sometimes more for their captor(s) is presented. In 1973, a lone armed man, thought to be American, storms the downtown Stockholm branch of Kreditbanken. Ultimately the authorities, led by Chief of Police Mattsson learn of his at-gunpoint demand: $1 million US, the release of convicted bank robber and murderer Gunnar Sorensson, and a Mustang Boss 302 like the one Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt (1968) as a getaway vehicle for the two of them. By the time Mattsson gets Sorensson to the bank - unknown to the gunman, who is thought to be well known robber Kaj Hansson, Sorenson having made a plea deal with Mattsson for his cooperation against the gunman - there are three hostages at the bank, all the others that were in the bank at the time let go. Arguably the most lucid of the three is bank ...Written by
In dialogue, the bank robber asks for a getaway car, a "Mustang Boss 302, just like Steve McQueen's car from the movie Bullitt (1968)". However, although McQueen's car from "Bullitt" is a Mustang fastback, as depicted in "Stockholm," McQueen's car was actually a 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback, not a Boss 302 Mustang (which the bank robber asked for, and was made in 1969 and 1970, but not in 1968, in time for "Bullitt"), nor was it a 1973 Mustang Fastback, the car that is brought to the bank by the police as a getaway car for the robbers. See more »
The Vespa scooter seen outside the bank when Kaj Hansson enters is a 1980 model PX version of the scooter, which wasn't even designed in 1973. See more »
Funny and serious--just the way I like my heist films. And it's true.
"Their resistance to outside help and their loyalty toward their captors was puzzling, and psychologists began to study the phenomenon in this and other hostage situations." Rachel Lloyd
It doesn't pay to second guess Bianca Lind's (Noomi Rapace) falling for her abductor, Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke), in the real life 1973 heist/abduction that originated the descriptor, Stockholm Syndrome. Even as romantic as writer/director Robert Budreau makes the situation, no matter how crazy-charming he makes Lars, the situation, close to life or death, strains credulity.
Although the scene has been regularly described as "absurd" by officials and the media, Budreau and his first-rate actors create a reality that at the very least reminds me of Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. Dog is another hostage situation at a bank with Sonny (Al Pacino) seeking funds for a sex change for his lover. Sounds absurd until you feel the human emotions involved; in Stockholm the sympathy flows between mother Bianca, with a weak husband, and the defiant but "soft" Lars.
Lars had been known to save a heart-attack victim at a heist and shows care for the hostages in the Stockholm bank. The two actors are so good, you can forgive his larceny and understand her attraction to him. It is by no means to exculpate Lars or to condemn the police for using gas-what else could they do?
No one would think that the cinematic setups of this heist are an accurate rendition of the Norrmalmstorg robbery, yet the heightened passions; Lars' motive to spring his bank robbery buddy, Gunnar (Mark Strong); and the imperfect strategies of Chief Mattsson (Christopher Heyerdahl) ring true in any situation. Stockholm is a stock situation riddled with humanity, and some light humor (see the bumbling husband), to make an eccentric spin on an old formula.
Enjoy the characters, and let your reality demands take a sideline.
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