The first in a series of quality low-budget films, “The Finals” is an uneven but sometimes darkly funny tale of happenings in Stockholm in the summer of 1990. Foreign TV outlets might want to take a look at this fast comedy.
The low-budget series of so-called “pocket movies” was instigated last year by the Gothenburg Film Festival and Svensk Filmindustri: Plan is for a new picture to be ready each year for the fest. Present item cost no more than $850,000 to shoot, and director Stephan Apelgren, working with speed and efficiency, literally had to use everything he shot.
Pic tells the story of penniless slacker Johan (Anders Lundin), who is unable to watch the finals in the soccer world championship when his TV set is impounded. For Johan, this is worse than his being hunted by gangsters who want to collect the money he owes them. Johan has to combine staying alive with trying to watch the games on TV.
Pacing is brisk and characters are oddball and funny, especially Krister Henriksson as a stupid hit man, and Peter Haber as his obscenity-shouting boss. Feature newcomer Lundin is OK in the leading role.
Movie’s low budget tends to show sometimes, and a lengthy episode involving a group of Iraqi citizens due to be smuggled into Sweden is boring. In general, tech credits are fine.