Based on real lies
Cinema likes to idealize rebellious icons whose incredible lives inspire freedom, to break free from the chains of society and to live fully in a nihilistic spirit. These people outside the system are recognized by their spirit of survival and adaptation which often leads them down the path of crime. In the genre in France we had Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 and Without weapon, neither hatred, nor violence.
The United States is full of examples like Stop me if you can Where Bonnie & Clyde. Even Australia has some with chopper, the second role of Eric Bana. Now Sweden has its biopic about its irreverent bandit, clarktelling the life of a charming robber and king of the escape.
My beloved bandit
In Sweden, Clark Olofsson was public enemy number one between the 70s and 80s. These crimes? Mainly bank robbery and drug trafficking to make ends meet. His love of fame and bluster made him a real star in his country at the time. Back home, we’ve never heard of it except for one reason, stockholm syndrome. This is why, with the idea of making us adhere to this seductive character, clark charms us and takes us hostage. For this, like his character, the series uses all the artifices to achieve this, even if it means lying.
Because clark fully assumes to be a story made of reality and especially of lies. This allows her to tell her story as she wishes and to facilitate (see force) the attachment we have for Clark. She distorts what could have happened, playing with the staging, the narration and approaching this surreal life led by the robber with lightness, emotion and madness. The series therefore lives up to its character by being whimsical from its introduction. Clark is literally not yet out of her mother’s womb that we are plunged into a delirium at the same time as in mom Oloffson’s apricot.
“How do you talk about my mother?”
Like his “hero”, the image of the series fits, the realization of Jonas Åkerlund being malleable to the possible. The hues change depending on the location: desaturated when he is in prison, almost black and white in his painful childhood or taking on bright tones when Clark regains his freedom. This color work is aided by frames, changing formats and elaborate staging like this shot of Clark torn between two lives, handcuffed to the inspector who is chasing him from one side, and holding the hand of his wife from the other. However, this excess of lights and flashy colors borders on kitsch and requires taking out the sunglasses option anti-bad taste lenses.
If the realization assures, the experience in the clips of Jonas Åkerlund is felt especially in its boosted editing with precise and comical sound transitionsembellished by a soundtrack of Swedish rock from the 70s. Yellow Submarine of the Beatles) or musical comedy, when it is not Clark’s improbable robberies that turn the series into absurd humor.
This quirky humorous tone is lifted like Rafiki carrying baby Simba by Bill Skarsgård who makes the coffee, the sugar and the cup as he explodes in each scene. His energy makes Clark Olofsson’s character as funny as it is disturbing. Like a Looney Tunes that nothing can stop, hurt or lock up, Skarsgård interprets the clownish robber with a madness that rarely finds time outs. This performance makes the escape master an even more elusive, even dehumanized personalitye, who marries with the intention of clark to tell the facts and lies of Olofsson.
However, this cartoonish side of the realization and the acting does not make it possible to convey all the feelings desired by the series. We laugh a lot, we are surprised by lunar situations, but we feel badly the enormous charm and leadership of Clark Olofsson. This aspect of the bandit star is certainly not supported by the dialogues at a discount, which shine too rarely for the emotion they provide. Victims and police officers are thus often taken for big leftovers. Putting aside the second degree to take himself seriously would have made it possible to better underline that Olofsson is also a victim of his lies, veiling his face on the world and the traumas of his life.
The Clown Prince of Crime
The man with a thousand faces
The most memorable in the incredible life of the seductive robber is the Stockholm syndrome. But the famous atypical robbery at the origin of the psychological phenomenon is wedged in the middle of the series as an ordinary event in the life of Olofsson (which was perhaps the case, but not for the public).
The principle of the syndrome (when one or more hostages take a liking to their captor, even going so far as to cooperate) is not very finely illustrated by a victim, set up too quickly and above all completely set aside thereafter. The reason ? Clark had too much of a life to focus on just one chapter.
Thus, the series is a hallucinated journey with no real story other than Clark’s completely barred one. His life deserved an adaptation since it mixes a thousand lives, the error of clark being to want to tell everything. And even though each episode has an excellent narrative construction with its own path, the series has as its only guideline the meaning of life. It is only in the last scene that an approach, which could (should) have been a more explicit common thread, is revealed.
Police pick up
The finale is actually the most interesting episode. Moving away from the escapades of Clark’s life, the series concludes by bringing a different look on what she posed like a giant whose feet of clay she finally reveals to us. An episode that fearfully puts everything we have seen of him into perspective. So hard not to have the impression that clark faulted by telling the life of its main character as he would have liked it to be told, rather than breaking the image he has created for himself in the eyes of the public.
Clark is available in full on Netflix since May 5, 2022