Netflix thriller The Unlikely Murderer starring Swedish actors Robert Gustafsson and Mikael Persbrandt delves behind the mysterious 1986 murder of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme who was shot dead on the streets with his wife beside him. An unsolved murder. A high-profile case. And the madness of it. This five-episode Netflix thriller goes back to the snowy evening of February 1986 when Sweden’s prime minister, Olof Palme, went to watch a film at the Grand Cinema with his wife, Lisbeth.
An impulsive last-minute decision made sure that the man was without the protection of his bodyguards. While walking back home, they were ambushed by a single gunman, who shot Palme at point-blank range and then fired a shot at Lisbeth, who was only slightly wounded. Palme however, died.
The Netflix description under the film reads,
“This 2021 drama starring Robert Gustafsson and Mikael Persbrandt presents one theory about the assassination of Sweden’s Prime minister, Olof Palme.”
– The Unlikely Murderer review does not contain spoilers –
The Unlikely Murderer chronicles a story that is simple. It was a public assassination and the suspect, Stig Engström, was hardly identified as a strategic murderer with a plan. In fact, the police were surrounded by simple facts, so much so that they barely noticed what was right in front of them. The Swedish mini-series, thus, shows how Stig Engström, the graphic designer, the suspect who was named Palme’s probable murderer, managed to avoid justice right up to his death through an insane combination of sheer luck, a lot of audacity and a very confused police force.
Netflix’s The Unlikely Murderer is a crime story of a time when the power of technology was zero and naturally, the power of physical witnesses was at its peak. Gustafsson plays the failed weak Stig to perfection – an impulsive, easily influenced man who is not capable of murder. It was often said how Engström did not plan the murder well. He almost did everything wrong from the beginning. Well as the theory goes, it is always the one you never expect!
Netflix does a good job of capturing the optics of time. Any assassination of high-profile political personalities is not only time-sensitive but also imperative in a way for investigating teams to reach a reasonable conclusion. It’s shocking and perplexing to watch a fictionalized version of intelligent men being tricked by a man who cannot even plan his day right – this is where The Unlikely Murderer becomes appealing.
Based on a book by Thomas Pettersson, this Swedish mini-series has been written by Wilhelm Behrman and Niklas Rockström, the duo behind the Netflix series Caliphate created by Wilhelm Behrman. The strength of the story lies in its primary focus on the Stig Engström, the man who was constantly thought of as the witness instead of the suspect by the police – something that seems absolutely insane when you look at facts now.
Final Thoughts on The Unlikely Murderer : A Murder of a Lifetime
This Netflix crime-thriller series is directed by Simon Kaijser of the Spinning Man fame and Charlotte Brändström of The Outsider, Jupiter’s Legacy fame. The murder of the Swedish Prime Minister is hardly the focus – rather it’s about how badly the investigation was handled. An absolute must-watch, Netflix’s The Unlikely Murderer stands on its own feet as an independent series made for true fans of crime.
The Unlikely Murderer is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.