27 February 2006 | Antagonisten
The importance of ambition
Swedish film is subject to a completely different scale of judgment when I sit down to write a review. When i review a Hollywood movie my demands are much higher. And why? Simply because Hollywood has so much more invested in each film they release. The budget-constraints on a Swedish film probably doesn't even reach the catering-budget on a regular action-movie in Tinseltown.
"Storm" has become quite successful in Swedish theaters since it was released, it has also gained some admiration from critics. So of course i was curious, having passed on the opportunity to see the movie at the Stockholm Film Festival back in November of 2005. So, did it live up to the hype? Is the Swedish thriller of the year? Well, both yes and no.
Sometimes when i watch a movie i can like it more or less purely based on the ambition rather than the result. "Storm" is a bit like that. While i didn't enjoy the movie as much as i had hoped, i did enjoy the ambitions the film-makers obviously had. There are editing, shooting and effects here never before seen in a Swedish movie. While the rather modest budget shows in some more effects-laden sequences, the movie still looks good most of the time.
What surprised me the most is the lack of action. When they promoted the film it seemed like it would be an action-movie. There would be athletic women in leather and high kicking. And there was, for a total of ten minutes throughout. The other 100 minutes is more of a drama, a movie about finding happiness and dealing with things instead of repressing them. Sound boring? Not as bad as you might think, in my book it's more about expectations. A big part of the reason why this works as well as it does is the acting. Eric Ericson as the main character "DD" is solid throughout, and Jonas Karlsson is in my opinion one of the best Swedish actors today which he shows here in a role far from what he usually does. Eva Röse also does well, both when it comes to dialog and high kicks.
In short, sure this is cheesy at times, overblown and rather pretentious. But still: there was at least the ambition to do something different! And that is what Swedish movies need, they have to get the opportunity to miss the target a couple of times. At least now things feel like they are moving forward. So while "Storm" is only half a success it's still important and I can see why so many people enjoy it. If the development goes on like this I suspect there will soon be a movie that I can enjoy as much.