Directed by Mikael Marcimain
Beaten up, bruised, and scared, a young writer hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.
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★★★★ review by Fredrik Fyhr on Letterboxd
Surprisingly good! Top rate film-making that takes a free-for-all approach to it's narrative foundation. More specifically: Narrators change, and take each other's place, so you have no idea where things are going in this 70s tale of lowlife antiheroes and high place crooks; then comes the paranoia.
A Stockholm of 1978 has been meticulously recreated in this very expensive Swedish production. The production values are high and impressive: Great cinematography, often beautifully edited, very well acted (save for Sverrir Gudnason, an incomprehensible addition to Swedish cinema, whose popularity is only outshined by his mediocrity) and all in all highly engrossing.
Probably the best Swedish film of the year. If you're at an international film festival anywhere in the world and they're showing GENTLEMEN, it's definitely worth your attention.
★★★★★ review by etagekl23 on Letterboxd
I've only seen the longer TV-version.
★★★★ review by Jippo on Letterboxd
TV-version, 6 hours long
★★★★½ review by Daniel Kjellén on Letterboxd
This is a story about story-telling. Just like in the novel that inspired it, Mikael Marcimain's Gentlemen is based on dozens of tidbits - the truthfulness of each depending on who tells it. Covering three and a half decades, from the war-weary 40's (shot in black-and-white), through the rebellious 60's to the film's 1970's present, Gentlemen unfolds a gangster story, wrapped in a love story, inside a history of modern Swedish society. In that sense, Gentlemen is delightful.
Marcimain stays close to Klas Östergren's novel. This is a blessing and a curse, as the comprehensive narrative of the original telling barely fits into a two hour, twenty minutes adaptation. The editing is rushed - one line of dialogue is hardly spoken before the next starts. It pulls you out of the moment, as does the language that to modern Swedes undoubtedly sounds dated.
Still, this is all forgotten as the movie brilliantly uses the perfomances of primarily Dencik, Gudnasson and Vega Fernandez to convey a story taller than most. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy's Dencik convinces the most - the sincerity of his character is never in doubt.
Unlike his honesty.
This is not a story about depth, but of width. There is a little of everything, and few things you do not find interesting. The original novel is a wonderful companion, and will make some things clearer while obscuring some.
Make sure to enjoy fully the Christmas and New Year's celebration in the film's second half. The relationship between joy and despair has rarely been treated so well in cinema.
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