11 August 2012 | JW-30
a long insult to the Swedish police
It can be interesting at times to have a negative personality as your protagonist. Ill-tempered, inconsiderate, incompetent, boring: Van Veeteren is the police investigator assigned to a case of murder.
What does he do? No blood tests, no motives asked (nor found), no collecting facts, no time-line building, not checking for people who might have had a motive or hated the victims, no responsibility taken for his actions - Van Veeteren rather kicks another officer between the legs as a "reprimand" than admitting his own fault.
What does he do instead? He accuses and insults without proof, he forces the grieving spouse again and again to recount sexual details (without any use for the investigation, so probably for his own enjoyment), he wanders around with his sick dog, strains an ankle doing sports, passes judgment without anything to go on, gets other people in deep trouble and eventually killed, and doesn't seem to feel much remorse.
Now anti-heroes can be interesting by themselves. Sadly, this one is not - but maybe there is some social tension coming out of it? Nope. His colleagues are painted to be very much like Van Veeteren. Not professional, just incurious prejudiced dullards.
Is the Swedish police really like that, or is this movie intended to be a long, slow, boring insult to them? In either case, I cannot see any reason people would want to watch this. Don't waste your time on it like I did.
I like Swedish landscape, Swedish faces and good actors, and together with some production values these are the redeeming features earning this flick some points. But the story? Terrible.