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The Diver

(International sales: Filmfabriken, Stockholm.) Produced by Castro Khatib.

(International sales: Filmfabriken, Stockholm.) Produced by Castro Khatib.

Directed by Erik Gustavson. Screenplay, Gerald Wilson, Gustavson, Kjetil Indregard, based on an original script by Stefan Sauk, Mats Berglund, Anders Lennberg. Camera (color), Kjell Vassdal; editor, Wadt Thomsen; music, Randall Meyers; art director, Jan Olof Agren; costume designer, Lotta Peterson. Reviewed at Royal, Stockholm, Jan. 9, 2000. Original title: Dykaren. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Stefan Sauk, Izabella Scorupco, Bjorn Floberg, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Alexander Skarsgard, Tomas von Bromssen, Keve Hjelm, Leif Andree, Alexander Domogerov.

(Swedish, English, Polish and Russian dialogue)

American-style product placement hits Swedish cinema big-time in “The Diver,” a dull and unexciting thriller that’s unlikely to make any waves on foreign shores. Directed by Norwegian helmer Erik Gustavson (“Sophie’s World”), pic’s plot has more holes than its sunken boat, its characters appearing and disappearing with no logical explanation. Only thesp to escape with some semblance of decorum is “GoldenEye” babe Izabella Scorupco.

Title character is Arne (Stefan Sauk), a traumatized diver on Sweden’s west coast who saves Irena (Scorupco) from drowning when she’s locked in a boat that was deliberately deep-sixed. But she soon disappears and hitchhikes to Gothenburg to meet her b.f., big-shot gangster Orlov (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Action then goes back and forth between Gothenburg and Arne’s fishing village, with various bad guys fighting over a box hidden in the sunken ship. Product placement is particularly unsubtle and often hilarious: At one point, when Irena is being chased around Gothenburg, she spends an inordinate amount of time getting into a cab simply so the camera can linger on a poster advertising the taxi company.

The Diver

(SWEDEN-DENMARK)

Production: A Buena Vista Intl. (Sweden) release of a Filmfabriken, Film i Vast (Sweden)/Smile Entertainment (Denmark) production, in association with Nordic Screen Production.

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