This self-described “suspenseful, riotous black comedy” is for anyone who has ever wondered where the psychological term “Stockholm Syndrome” originated from. The year is 1973 and for married mother of two Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace) it’s just another day in her job at a central Stockholm bank. Enter The Outlaw (Ethan Hawke) – aka Lars Nystrom – a wig-wearing, gun-toting, Bob Dylan-loving bank robber whose frenetic charm changes everything.
The Outlaw shots up the ceiling and demands the chief of police, then $1 million, a specific getaway car and his best “brother” Gunnar’s release from prison. So begins this captivating escapade, which dramatises the first criminal event to be covered by live television in Sweden.
Writer-director Robert Budreau (Born to Be Blue) blends history, heist and humour, crafting an enthralling and entertaining crime caper. Reminiscent of heist films such as The Inside Man and Dog Day Afternoon, this retro hostage tale successfully balances moments of intensity with the inane; the fact that it’s based on the absurd events of a real-life robbery only adds to its incredulous stranger-than-fiction vibe.
Budreau’s casting is top notch: Mark Strong is superb as Lars’s best buddy and notorious bank robber Gunnar Sorensson and Christopher Heyerdahl’s composed and clever delivery as Chief Mattsson is simply magnificent. Ethan Hawke excels as The Outlaw, being both edgy and engaging throughout. His chemistry with Noomi Rapace’s rational Bianca is palpable and believably paced. Rapace is quietly outstanding as Lind, who begins to identify then bond with her captor even over the cops trying to free her and two colleagues.
The Captor (also known as Stockholm) is a stylishly absorbing and original comedy thriller. The ending may be a little abrupt for some but this is without doubt a fraught, funny and fast-paced film reporting one of the most momentous bank raids in history.
The Captor is released in select cinemas and on Digital HD on 21st June 2019.
Watch the trailer for The Captor here: