tisdag 4 oktober 2016

The Importance of being Frank

Filmmaker Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys) discussed in  one interview ( I forgot which one) the role and purpose of the action hero in  conventional narrative form. The action hero is the one character  that stands outside of society´s norms. He represents the outsider. The society does not want anything to do with him or his values, like a Frankensteins monster. But when shit hits the fan they need him to protect the status quo.

This is similar to Frank Wagner who belongs nowhere , is an outcast among the cops and his own family who wants nothing to do with him. He is the outsider. But he is also  in a position to make a difference, to do something the law can not. And that is why we may need someone like Frank Wagner as much as we might despise it. Like Batman.

GSI has no problem using him to their own needs and when push comes to shove Frank actually is being left outside in order to protect status quo. Police officers are forbidden by law to use  civilian informers, but as the films shows us, is a morally grey area. Cops have their own moral code, like samurai, which they don´t want to break and it also makes them less credible as undercover informants. It is simply better to use someone who never took an oath. And does not need to break that vow  the officer has taken to society.

But when society needs him they come crawling back to him. He is  that Frankenstein-monster that Shane Black speaks of . Johan Falk in these last movie is less so.. Johan is conflicted. On one hand he is one of those types, but he has a firm belief in the law in some ways. He stands between Frank, the outsider and the acceptable society. Caught in between.

For further discussion, have anyone seen Blade-The series?  It was a shortlived television series based on the Marvel character that Wesley Snipes made so iconic. Played by Sticky Fingaz, the series dealt with  using an undercover vampire to infiltrate the vampire organization. It was a clever twist on the vampire formula, made it more like The Wire than comic book.. Krista (Jill Wagner) comes back from the Iraqui war only to find her brother  being quite dead, she immediately tries to find out, gets sucked (haha) into the vampire underworld and used by Blade as an informer. Her family gets more distressed and more and more distanced from her. 

Frank Wagner has similar personal problems, His family disappointed in him. they think he really is a criminal. And it is made even worse when the family consists of cops.  In Blade- the series we see a similar position. Seths gang wear a lot of leather just like vampires. Franks mother suffer similiar like Kristas gang of vampires but he, unlike Krista  cannot ressurect her. he is a more tragic character as he finds himself way more vulnerable. He is not a vampire, you know. But there is still of a disgust of him from the poeple around him and a lot of blame is given.

Blade-The series is in a way similar to the Johan Falk-series as it tries to deepen an already established world/universe by focusing it elsewhere rather than the main protagonist to enlighten certain topics or themes. Blade-The series shows us a vampiric world of betrayals and intrigue ,very humanlike and Macchiavellian in its nature. The Falk-series tries to look at the world in more shades of grey, than on villifying. Obviously you have to have a threat, and a real bad guy that is worse than Seth Rydell. But that is part of  dramaturgy. There needs to be a threat of some sorts that needs to be combated, but the two sides Rydell/Falk are not so easily distinguished. Both sides break the law, one of the sides try to defend the state and make it legitimate through its actions that is paradoxiaclly in starkt contrast to the democratic parliament rule that we now inhabit in Sweden.

Johan Falk as a character gets sidelined throughout most of the twelve episodes when Frank Wagner plays a part. And more often than not Frank is the propulsive force and Johan the passive part.. An interesting twist on the action movie formula, Johan Falk has been established as the main protagonist but is put in a  murkier position in which he is uncertain as how he should behave himself.

The idea of an outsider to help the established society to reinforce  the status quo ( democracy in this case) is known in plentiful of Westerns and has also been used subversively in the grim High plains drifter, a movie that deals with  civic courage or rather the lack of civic curage in a society, a topic Johan Falk is familiar with.

Finally, the reason for the outsider to remain an outsider is for  the simple purpose of society to actually  exist which may be problematic as this might suggest that democracy is so deeply flawed that we might need to resort to undemocratic methods to defend it.*

As Frank Wagners story concluded in Codename Lisa, Johan Falk will yet again become the focus point in the last five movies. And where will it lead him? We will just have to see.

*see also Christoper Nolans Batman-films and the reasoning behind covering up Dents true demise

1 kommentar:

  1. Jag fattar inte på engelska det är bättre att ha på svenska istället så att se bättre tack