An everyday man wakes up worried and bloody in his bathroom, takes a shower and then leaves for work. During his day he gets more and more stressed out and depressed, and eventually returns home to find the consequence of the day before - his wife murdered on the floor and his son wounded in the bed.
I've never really had any interest in watching "Farväl Falkenberg" by the same director. I usually don't care about Swedish film at all, with a few exceptions. But I remember passing by "Apan" in a store and taking notice that it 1) featured Olle Sarri, the only decent guy from the dreadful sitcom "c/o Segemyhr" and 2) that it looked like a drama movie rather than comedy. I didn't care much more after that, until I read the plot one night surfing IMDb.com. I've really became a fan of dark European drama movies, as you might've noticed, and this one sounded like something I would love - even though it was from my own little country; a terrible country for movies (if you ask me). I took the chance to watch it and I figured at the very least I could just underline the fact that Swedish films usually are bad. But I pretty much got exactly what I had hoped for in "Apan".
The story of Krister leaves a lot for us to build ourselves. What we see during this day is all we know. He wakes up bloody in his bathroom. Leaves for work. Freaks out at work. Goes to a hardware store and looks at some circular saws, buys some big bags. He goes home and we see his dead wife on the floor. And his son severely wounded in his bed. None of this could be counted as spoilers, I knew all of this myself going into the movie. It does take away some of the wondering earlier in the film, but the entire movie is how he handles himself after having done something like this. The story is behind us, and we're just following Krister as his mental state gets worse during the day and he starts freaking out on us. We still don't know exactly what he did, why he did it, if he regrets doing it, or what will happen after this. This is what makes this movie so good, we just act as a fly following a man who has done something terrible.
The filming is mostly taking place from behind our lead character and we pretty much just follow him through the entire movie. No fancy effects or tilts, just basicly handheld and following out lead character. We barely get to know anyone else, except for the few words Krister says to them, how he looks at them and how he acts around them.
Which takes me to the next point. The dialogue. The dialogue has us on the edge of our seats because it's so realistic. It has a stressful, doubtful and sometimes inaccurate language much like you see in people all the time in the real world when they stutter or don't know what to say. Olle Sarri delivers these lines perfectly and I doubt many other Swedish actors could pull it off as well as he did. To top it off the director didn't show the script to Olle Sarri before filming, so when he came on set everyday he was clueless as to what they were gonna do, and the film was kept a mystery to him and therefor his character too. He barely knew if he was even the lead. It was also shot in chronological order. And no one was allowed to talk to him in the other crew on set. The director approached him asking if he wanted to be part of a little game where he doesn't find out anything about the movie, and luckily he accepted. I don't know what effect this ultimately gave the movie, but it definitely helped Olle Sarri's performance.
This is by far the best Swedish movie I have seen in recent years. It's really dark and awkward, you feel that something fucked up is gonna happen at any second. There's a constant pending between feeling sorry for our lead and hating him. I rarely get to applaud a Swedish movie, but the simplicity of this movie and the realistic (but unsettling) feeling the movie and Olle Sarri carries on their shoulders through the entire film is nothing short of excellent. I have skipped reviews of the film, but I am shocked that I haven't heard people talk about it at all. It's not like it's a little underground production considering both the director and actor have done widely-known-within-the-country-stuff before. Highly recommended movie for people who enjoy drama movies. Just remember that it's a very, very slow movie and there isn't a thick plot.