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"Stockholm" Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

I love true stories, but sometimes you have to be careful about how much of the story you believe, especially when it comes to films and word-of-mouth. There are some movies that stay very close to the real event, such as 127 Hours or Zodiac. But, sadly, there's films like Stockholm that deviated from what happened for no real reason other than to be entertaining or romanticize the "bad guys".

Stockholm loosely tells the story of the 1973 hostage crisis in Stockholm, Sweden, which is also where the term Stockholm Syndrome was coined by the media.

I like to get the negative points out of the way first so that I can spend more time on the positives, so here we go. The real instigator of the bank robbery was Swedish, yet the movie depicts him as an American who came to Sweden to con the cops into releasing his best friend, a Swedish thief, into letting him out of prison. In reality, there were four hostages, not three. The biggest negative of all is that Stockholm Syndrome is wildly misrepresented. The syndrome is a psychological disorder in which the captive develops feelings for his/her captor. The women in the actual crisis were defending the robbers even though they treated them horribly and one was even nearly strangled because her captor was angry with the cops. In the film, however, both captor and captive fell for one another. That's not Stockholm Syndrome, that's situational stress attraction. As said in Speed, stressful situations can cause two people to feel things for one another that they otherwise wouldn't. Stockholm Syndrome, on the other hand, is a deep mental disturbance that has long-term lasting effects.

While I'm sure it sounds like I'm bashing the film, it did have its positive moments. For instance, the performances. Ethan Hawke was absolutely electric and owned every scene he had. He and Mark Strong made for excellent partners/rivals and, in a better film, would possibly get some award nominations. Noomi Rapace worked well with what she had but as a longtime fan of hers, I know she's capable of so much more.

In conclusion, I can say without a doubt that I was disappointed. I love Noomi and Ethan both but this film should have been better and smarter. This isn't the first time director Robert Budreau has stretched the truth. His previous film, Born to Be Blue, was also a fact-based film that twisted the truth in lieu of a comeback story. And therein lies the difference between Budreau and Tarantino. If you're going to twist the truth, don't advertise it as a true story. I give Stockholm a 2.5 out of 4.

© 2019 Nathan Jasper


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