I’ve said this many times…foreign films and foreign TV shows are done much better than what I see on American TV. Anxious People, a Swedish comedy drama, is a perfect example. What happens when a bank robber outsmarts a father and son police team? You get a mystery within a mystery.
Based on a bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman, Anxious People aka Folk med angest, is directed by Felix Herngren, and stars Marika Lagercrantz, Lottie Ejebrant, Leif Andree, Anna Granath, Per Anderson, Elina Du Rietz, Carla Sehn, Petrina Solange, Dan Ekborg, and Alfred Svensson. Police officers, Jim (Dan Ekborg) and Jack (Alfred Svensson) are father and son and work together keeping their little sleepy town safe. They live together, and work together, but Jack is more focused on the job at hand, while his dad worries about his missing daughter who happens to be a drug addict.
In the midst of Jack getting his hair cut at the local beauty shop a bank is robbed. Jim and Jack run to the bank with the hairdresser close behind, struggling to finish cutting Jack’s hair. When the robbery fails, the robber escapes to a nearby apartment building where there is an open house for one of the apartments in the building. The armed robber takes the people checking out the apartment hostage.
Among the hostages is a Zarah (Anna Granath), Estelle (Lottie Ejebrant), a very pregnant Julia (Carla Sehn) and her partner Ro (Petrina Solange). Ro is having doubts about shared motherhood. There is also an older couple with a secret, Anna Lena (Marika Lagercrantz), and her husband Roger (Leif Andree). While Jim thinks that they can handle the hostage situation, Jack calls in the Stockholm SWAT team. The robber demands pizza for the hostages, and strangely, a display of fireworks. True to their word, the robber releases the hostages, but when the SWAT team and Jack and Jim enter the apartment house…the robber is no where to be found. The limited series then focuses on Jack and Jim questioning the hostages and trying to put the clues together.
Every person who was at the opening is a suspect, and their accounts suspicious. While Jim tries to diligently get to the truth, we get flashbacks into the lives of the people who showed up at the apartment. Everyone of them has a secret, and one of the hostages even has a connection to an event that happened to Jack when he was a young boy. Jack witnessed a suicide on the bridge, but before young Jack could talk the man out of jumping…he is handed a blue envelope with the instructions to take the envelope to the bank.
Anxious People turns out to be a crime mystery wrapped up in a beautiful character study about the hostages and their connection to the robber. There are a lot of funny scenes, like when we discover that the man dressed up in a bunny suit (Per Anderson) was there to help the IKEA fanatic couple, Anna Lenna and Roger, get their hands on the apartment for a cheaper price.
I truly enjoyed this limited series, and I know you will, too. You can watch Anxious People on Netflix.