Clark Review: Bill Skarsgård is a Womanizer In Search Of Freedom

Clark is the Netflix limited series based on the life of notorious Swedish bank robber Clark Olofsson, whose actions popularized the term the Stockholm syndrome. The Swedish True Crime TV series was released on 5 May 2022 globally. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund and starring Bill Skarsgård as Clark, Sandra Ilar, Vilhelm Blomgren, Peter Viitanen and Hanna Björn.

There are 6 episodes in the series with a runtime of about 55 minutes to over 1 hour each. It is available in the original Swedish audio with subtitles in English as well. Check out the trailer here:

Netflix’s synopsis of the series reads:

“This is the unbelievable story of Clark Olofsson, the controversial criminal who inspired the term “Stockholm syndrome.” Based on his truths and lies.”

-Clark Review Does Not Contain Any Spoilers-

A Story Based On Truths & Lies

The series is shown from the point of view of the infamous Clark Olofsson. Based on the autobiography released in 2015, Vafan var det som hände? (What the hell happened?), we can not take everything in the series by its face value. The series follows the trend as seen in the previous true-crime series, Inventing Anna, which showed a particular disclaimer at the start of every episode.

Similarly, Clark series disclaimer says, “based on his truths and lies as revealed in the autobiography”. That would mean that some parts of it are fictionalised or imagined as to what could have happened, like how his relationships might have transpired. Sweden’s first ‘celebrity gangster’, Clark Oderth Olofsson was born on 1 February 1947.

Born into a family of alcoholics with undiagnosed mental issues, his childhood wasn’t a fairly normal one. His father would beat him and his mother for any ridiculous reason, therefore from a young age he started doing all sorts of work and petty crimes to make money. It landed him in the correctional home for young offenders at the age of 16. He soon escaped from there and built a record of escaping from the prison 17 times, throughout his life.

Repeated offences like bank robberies and escaping prison again made him a public name since his search posters were displayed everywhere. But the one incident that made him popular is the Norrmalmstorg robbery in 1973. Janne Olsson took four people hostage in a bank and demanded three million Swedish kronor, a Mustang and for Clark Olofsson, who he had met in prison, to be brought to the bank.

Clark Netflix TV series

His latter demand was met by sending Clark to the bank to get the hostages out safely. But instead, everyone was trapped in a vault for 5-6 days and when rescued, the hostages seemed to have formed a soft spot for Clark and Janne. They even testified and defended Clark in court & to the Prime Minister of Sweden.

From this incident, criminologist Nils Bejerot popularised the term ‘the Stockholm Syndrome’, where the victims sympathise with their captor or abusers. Clark Olofsson as a person is quite charming and charismatic and he can win over anyone with his smooth-talking. Throughout the series, women are seen falling over him at first sight. I wonder if that’s how it really was or if that’s something in Clark’s mind, how he saw the world.

Explored Themes: Childhood Trauma & Sense Of Freedom

Although the series is a bit exaggerated version of the real events that happened in Clark’s life, whatever information is presented to us explores the topic of how one’s childhood shapes their entire life. Throughout his childhood, he was abused by his father, in foster homes and sexually by older women. After going through such troubled early years, Clark was always looking for ways to escape or to find freedom.

Living a carefree life where he doesn’t have to struggle for money is the kind of freedom he is looking for. But there’s no end to it. Clark keeps moving on from one thing to another to feel a sense of control in his life. He is seeking the love and warmth that he didn’t receive as a child from his numerous partners. Maybe if his childhood was a bit different then his life might have taken another unknown route.

Clark Olofsson jumping in a pool

Final Thoughts: Stream it or Skip It?

Netflix’s Clark series is a new addition to the list of crime thriller series, after Inventing Anna. If you enjoy watching dramatised real-life events where people con others through their charm and personality, then this is definitely for you. The series shows the chaotic life of Clark Olofsson where every scene is dynamic and has no dull moments.

However, even after finishing the series there’s very little known about his life and thoughts. Like it is mentioned that he has 2 sisters, but they are never shown apart from one childhood scene. We don’t even know if they are alive or not. It only shows the happy or thrilling moments from his life and criminal career. Even when most of his life was spent in prison or isolated cells, we don’t know what went with him there or in his mind. I guess that’s one of the reasons for such public interest in him & his mysterious life.

Clark is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Meltdown Three Mile Island Review: Nuclear Horror Fueled by Miscommunication & Conflicting Information

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Clark is a Netflix TV series based on the life of the infamous criminal Clark Olofsson. It explores the real-life crime events that made him a public celebrity.

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Clark Review: Bill Skarsgård is a Womanizer In Search Of FreedomClark is a Netflix TV series based on the life of the infamous criminal Clark Olofsson. It explores the real-life crime events that made him a public celebrity.