There is a lot of stuff going on in this film or the series as a whole. But if I would have gone into that, this blog post would have been even longer. I may write a different post delving more deeply into the relationships and the different goingons one of these days. But for now, let´s stick to some stuff which I think is worth mentioning. It took more space than I expected. I need to focus my mind. But there is an awful lot I skip through.I want to write about every single aspect, but the text would have been completely scattershot and unfocused if I discussed everything.
Previously on Johan Falk:
Civilian undercover informant Frank Wagner is forced to to take extreme masures in order to makes his cover intact as a gangster within the organization of Seth Rydell ( Jens Hultén from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). Now Frank most definitely does not want to continue working for the GSI taskforce.
A Mr K whose identity is still unknown is responsible for the drug trafficking (probably among other sleazy things) to Sweden from Estonia. GSI is on his tail. But looses the trail. Not only does that rhyme, but it also means that GSI is in desperate need of superinfiltrator extraordinarire Frank Wagner, despite him wanting to get out (yet again).
The promises that GSI has given to Wagner becomes more difficult to live up to as they are so dependant on his information. But he agrees to help, but this time he gets more emotionally involved, as his pregnant girlfriend by pure accident oversees him talking to a go-between to Mr K. The gangsters beat her up and as a result she gets hospitalized and loses the child in the process which makes Wagner furious. This is all unbeknownst to Johan Falk as the case proceeds. This builds some tension as it drives Wagner to become more vengeful and in the process threatens to blow the case and for GSI to lose the trail to Mr K once again.
More stuff to talk about:
Falk does not get to do a lot of action himself in this film. He does however gets arrested by the German police after tracking Wagner to a meeting with the Estonian mob boss in Stuttgart. It is Wagner who is the active actionpart in this flm. Gets into fistfights and foot chases and in the end gets revenge by killing Mr K. Falk is confronted with a situation in which he needs to bend the law in a pretty extreme way, by hiding evidence to let Wagner off the hook.
In your typical cop movie "super cop" Falk would have won the day, but what has actually being won by killing a high ranking leader in what will be revealed as part of a much larger organization? What information could have been gained from him which would actually lead to building a case and perform proper police work? Who knows. From a movie point of view, the bad guy dies, the movie ends and that is it.
But what is great about the larger story that is being told here are”what are the consequences in the long run”. The story just does not end with the one guy get ting shot and killed. It seldom does in real life.
Scenes to jibber jabber about:
The scene which sets Wagners action in place is a very good one, but also pretty scary. After visiting his girlfriend Marie ( Ruth Vegas- Fernandez) and having an argument ( she does not like him still doing stuff for GSI) , he is confronted in the parking garage by a representative of the Estonian mob and his goon and suddenly a cell phone is ringing from a far. Wagner and the Estonians separates, goes their own way and Wagner gets ready to get in his car and drive away when he overhears a violent conversation. This is shown entirely from Wagners point of view. As an audience member we know Marie has entered the parking garage, that she stumbled upon their meeting and that it was her cellphone that just happend to start ringing.
We now follow Wagners point of view as he moves to the location of the Estonians and him trying to find out what is going on. We follow him to the point in which he sees poor Marie beaten on the floor and his reaction.
It´s pretty effective use of point of view, I feel. We know, but Frank do not yet. He might suspect however. And we share his dread as we know and he slowly finds out. The guy threatens to kill her and her family, unbeknownst to him that Wagner is her family. Standing right there. This made me think of Death Wish and similar revenge movies. Usually the protagonist seeks revenge for he is not there of the brutal act. The man is missing, not protecting his family for whatever reason, because if he was there you would not have a movie, he would have killed the bad guys right there and then. The End. Here Wagner must control his emotions in order to do what he needs to do. Even if it is his girlfriend lying there. It is a fucked up situation to be in and the situation wouldn´t have occurred if he had refused to help GSI.
The following scene is also powerful. Marie lies in hospital and Frank is standing outside down below talking to her through the cell phone. Here we see visually the momentary distance Wagner has to his girlfriend but at the same time they are near and intimate with each other.
She is there in the distance, we as an audience lies closer to Frank and perhaps feels his momentarily disconnect as he needs to do what he has to do.
I have never lost a child and don´t know what it is like. I have heard that couples can break up or disconnect with each other after losing a baby. Maybe this is some kind of visual clue to their emotional state, I don´t know. I am probably full of shit. I have a bachelor degree in film. I do this kind of shit. Speculate wildly. This is not exact science.
But I think I made a case why this sets the film up in a great way. We feel for Frank now. As I have previously stated; killing the guy may jeopardize the whole case. A neat twist on the revenge aspect which usually is handled in a more populistic and sensationalistic way in action films. Here there may be consequences for taking revenge.
Although I wouldn´t mind seeing Joel Kinnaman starring in a Death Wish remake.
Next time on Johan Falk-series: Part 6: We see the return of familiar faces from Zero Tolerance. Are Johan Falk and Leo Gaut really going to put their differences aside? Who the hell knows? Except people who´ve seen the movie, I guess.