Directed by: Various (TV)
Countries & Regions: Sweden
Length: 175 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 25 June 2012
Cat No: FCD626
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Sebastian Bergman: Series 1
Both episodes from the first series of the Scandinavian crime drama that follows the cases of police profiler Sebastian Bergman (Rolf... Read More
The two-part crime series Sebastian Bergman: The Cursed One arrived with certain hard-to-meet expectations, in the wake of several groundbreaking Scandinavian crime series. The format of two 90 minute episodes went against the current trend for multi-part series (but is none the worse or that), and stars as the prickly (eponymous) profiler, one of Sweden's most respected actors, Rolf Lassgård. The actor adopts an audacious tactic: he makes virtually no attempt to render the difficult, sexually predatory Bergman subtly likable - not even by a chink in the character's armour (though we are aware of the vulnerable humanity beyond the uningratiating exterior). For UK viewers, Lassgård had latterly become familiar as the original television Kurt Wallander (albeit non-sequentially after both the Henriksson and Branagh incarnations).
Police profiler Sebastian Bergman is shabby, unshaven, and displays a distinctly non-PC approach to women; but this is no attractively dangerous seducer; he is more of a sex pest. Bergman is also a damaged individual, attempting to deal with grief over the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter in the 2004 Thailand tsunami. Returning to his home town after the death of his mother, Bergman encounters his old police colleague, Torkel, who is looking into the savage killing of a teenage boy. Bergman also discovers a letter with revelations of a family secret. He inveigles himself (in the teeth of some opposition) onto Torkel's team - with uncomfortable results for all concerned. The first episode is not just risk-taking in its refusal to elicit sympathy for its bear-like anti hero, but keeps its narrative focus deliberately vague, while the second episode displays another kind of audacity: outrageous borrowings from the oeuvre of the writer Thomas Harris. In the final analysis, Sebastian Bergman is not an easy series, but it's unarguably one with the courage of its convictions.