Based, very loosely I would imagine, on the heist that inspired the term Stockholm Syndrome, The Captor is based on the true story of a 1973 bank heist in Stockholm (it’s US title) where self-styled outlaw Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke), high on pills walks into a bank, pulls out a machine gun and fires it into the ceiling.

He then takes two bank workers, married mother Bianca (Noomi Rapace) and her workmate Klara (Bea Santos) hostage and demands that his friend Gunnar (Mark Strong) is brought to him from his prison cell. As well as the release of his friend he also wants $1million in cash and a getaway car, not just any car he tells the police, but the same type of car that Steve McQueen drove in the movie Bullet.

As negotiations with the police reach a deadlock the hostages, whilst initially terrified, start to realise, that their lives aren’t as important as they think they are and they slowly start to side with the hostage takers.

The Captor is an enjoyable and entertaining movie that just about strikes the right balance between being an outright farce and a serious drama. Rapace’s character, after initially being taken hostage, has a conversation with her husband, who is inexplicably brought into the bank by the police, about how to fry a fish for his dinner, it would seem that her only concern whilst she’s in a life and death situation is that he husband doesn’t go hungry, turns out he couldn’t be bothered with the fish and went for the leftover meatloaf instead. If that’s not absurd enough the hostage takers and the hostages’ seem to know the Swedish prime ministers phone number, as they call him up out of the blue in order to ask him what’s going on. Maybe the Swedish prime minister is more accessible than the leaders’ of other countries’ who knows.

The Captor has a limited release in cinemas and is worth searching out, or if that doesn’t work for you, it’s also available via on demand, just don’t take it too seriously.


The Captor (15)

Director: Robert Budreau Starring: Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark, Strong

UK Release: Friday 21st June 2019 and also available on Digital HD