14 December 2005 | CGA_Soupdragon
Detailed account of a mad-man's path to hell
In the early 1990's a person shoots immigrant males in the Stockholm area. Some of the witnesses describe a red dot of light. The shooter was using a gun mounted with a laser sight.
The series, in three feature-length parts, recounts the true events leading up to the arrest of one of Sweden's most wanted criminals.
We see the danish actor, David Dencik -- a relatively fresh face in Sweden, portray Ausonius, a person totally devoid of the tools for proper social contact. It's agonizing to see Ausonius feeble attempts at interacting with other people. The moment the other person fails to match Ausonius' own picture of the world, a venomous hate boils up and over. Dencik's portrayal is very finely balanced. Especially as his role is in three parts.
Firstly, Ausonius' time as a student before his shooting spree, along with a troubled time in the army during conscription.
Secondly the period during the actual shootings/bank robberies.
And thirdly, scenes from his exclusive interviews with Gellert Tamas, a journalist on who's book this series is based.
These three parts are threaded, so that a more complete portrait of Ausonius' psyche can be painted. The patching of the scenes is a way of driving home the fact that Ausonius' behaviour has grown out of a troubled background coupled with a twisted view of his surroundings. Rather that showing the events purely chronologically, the filmmakers have opted for a style as if one has a book and needs to turn back to a earlier part to be able to study a point in time more closely.
The other main thread in the series is the painstaking police-work. The actual police hunt is a plodding affair. Because of the fact that Ausonius' crimes (the "indiscriminate" shooting of members of the male public with darker skin colour than Ausonius' own and a long string of bank robberies) were seemingly random, seemingly perpetrated by different people, the police took a very long time to focus on him.
When, in the third programme, the police receive a psychological picture of the culprit, another policeman (working on the murder of Olof Palme) remembers an earlier suspect from that investigation. The results of the profile match Ausonius psychological and active history exactly.
From that moment on, Ausonius' days at large were numbered. Ausonius' meticulously deranged plans finally become his own trap as police, needing more evidence of his activities, are tailing him and are present when he comes running out of a bank after the last of his robberies.
Lasermannen is a superb series. It oozes a creepy, realistic quality. The tired detectives, frustrated by yet more weird shootings and crazy, irrational behaviour to follow-up. Bewildered people that knew Ausonius and had to deal with him in person. Along with the victims themselves, the horribly unfortunate people shot at random and the people caught up in his other criminal behaviour.
Sad, sickening events that helped create a nasty climate in Sweden at that time.
Grim, of course, but it is also a high point in Swedish television production.