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Storm

Starting out as a flashy and violent actioner, "Storm" gradually morphs into a multilayered psychological study of a troubled young man. Fast paced, visually exciting and with enough plot twists to satisfy the most jaded filmgoer, pic has all the makings of a cult hit. Chances are good of it scoring offshore too -- as evidenced by brisk sales during AFM. Film won the audience award at the recent Stockholm fest.

With:
With: Eric Ericson, Eva Rose, Jonas Karlsson, Lina Englund, Sasha Becker, Adam Lundgren, Karl Norrhall, Peter Engman, Jacqueline Ramel, Mattias Padin Varela, Per Ragnar, Joel Kinnaman, Sofia Hvittfeldt, Oscar Akermo, Christian Hollbrink, Viktor Strom.

Starting out as a flashy and violent actioner, “Storm” gradually morphs into a multilayered psychological study of a troubled young man. Fast paced, visually exciting and with enough plot twists to satisfy the most jaded filmgoer, pic has all the makings of a cult hit. Chances are good of it scoring offshore too — as evidenced by brisk sales during AFM. Film won the audience award at the recent Stockholm fest.

Young Lova (Eva Rose) is pursued by a gang of thugs; she has a small box the bad guys want. She gives the box to another young woman (Lina Englund), with the words, “We are the only ones left.”

Cut to Donny (Eric Ericson), a freelance journalist in Stockholm who likes to go out drinking but shies away from relationships. While in a taxi, he hears on the radio that a devastating storm headed for Stockholm mysteriously died down when it reached the capital. At the same time, Lova seeks temporary shelter from her pursuers in his cab.

Later, after she’s paid a visit to Donny’s apartment, the thugs break in and ransack the place looking for the box.

Lova has given Donny a matchbox with a password written on it. This leads him on a constantly dangerous trail where he becomes wanted by police for a murder he didn’t commit, and finally finds himself in the rural town where he grew up, forced to face a past that includes a mentally ill younger brother (Karl Norrhall), introduced in an earlier scene.

Pic’s multi-layered plot, with its twists and turns, is as much a journey for the audience as for its main character, and many of the questions raised — is all this happening, or is it Donny’s imagination? — are never really answered, heightening the sense of unease. Co-helmers Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein, signing the pic as “Marlind/Stein,” have created a dark, intriguing web where action, drama, comicbooks and computer games meet, clearly partly inspired by movies like “The Matrix.”

Ericson, who’s turned in some fine but unremarkable perfs in movies and TV, makes Donny believable as both a tough guy and someone who has to confront his past. Rose’s character, Lova, is more one-dimensional, between a real character and someone out of a computer game. However, her athletic perf in a series of well-staged fight scenes could augur future pics with her as an action heroine.

Action sequences are surprisingly gory. Stein’s first-rate editing manages to make the film fast and snappy without becoming a cut-a-second, MTV-style bore. Other technical credits are fine.

Storm

Sweden

Production: A Sandrew Metronome release of a Breidablick Film production, in association with Film i Vast, Sandrew Metronome, Drylab, Chimney Pot Oslo, with participation of Canal Plus. (International sales: Trust Film Sales, Copenhagen). Produced by Karl Fredrik Ulfung. Executive producers, Gunnar Carlsson, Tomas Eskilsson, Lena Rehnberg. Directed by Marlind/Stein. Screenplay, Mans Marlind.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Linus Sandgren; editor, Bjorn Stein; music, Carl Michael Herlofsson; art director, Roger Rosenberg; costume designer, Liz Botes; sound (Dolby SRD), Tormod Ringnes; stunt coordinator, Peter Lundberg; visual effects, Drylab/Chimney Pot Oslo. Reviewed at Sandrew Metronome screening room, Stockholm, Nov. 21, 2005. (In Stockholm Film Festival, competing.) Running time: 110 MIN.

With: With: Eric Ericson, Eva Rose, Jonas Karlsson, Lina Englund, Sasha Becker, Adam Lundgren, Karl Norrhall, Peter Engman, Jacqueline Ramel, Mattias Padin Varela, Per Ragnar, Joel Kinnaman, Sofia Hvittfeldt, Oscar Akermo, Christian Hollbrink, Viktor Strom.

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