Evil (Ondskan) (2003) - Movie  » Movies  »
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  • I found that part immensely satisfying because he defeats them
  • I felt vindicated alongside Erik and enjoyed this movie
  • I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the boarding school setting and the themes of violence and bullying


    • by Dee
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      Ondskan is a Swedish drama: an adaptation of Jan Guillou’s novel. It was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the 2004 Academy Awards. It also took the Swedish Oscars by storm that same year, taking three Guldbagge Awards and four nominations. The movie is about taking a stand and learning when and how to do that. For the hero, Erik Ponti, it’s also about deciding where he stands in the theme his own life has adopted: violence.

      Erik lives with his parents in Stockholm. His father is strict, unforgiving and abusive. He takes liberties with his definition of discipline and is often found beating on Erik for Erik’s presumed infractions. As a result, Erik exercises his familiarity with violence
      by getting into fights at school. He is eventually caught in a vicious fight and suffers the consequences. The headmaster seems to loathe his entire existence and labels him pure evil. Erik is expelled. Erik’s complacent and cowed mother is entirely too aware of what is happening in her family. She does her best to soothe her pain and fear by voraciously ignoring her husband’s violent disposition and compensating her son with small acts of kindness. There isn’t much Erik’s mother has the power to do, but after his expulsion, she sells off some of her valuables. She uses the money to secure Erik education in a boarding school where he will have a chance to sort himself out without his father’s toxic presence.

      Erik decides to take this second chance seriously and stop fighting. Naturally, he is taunted and tempted to do just that during his stay at school. He befriends his roommate Pierre and makes enemies of senior students when he refuses to conform to their rules. Erik also gets involved with Marja, a pretty cafeteria worker. He manages to endure and all is relatively okay. When he comes back from Christmas break though, his friend Pierre is targeted and no matter what Erik gives up, Pierre is still at the mercy of his tormentors. Some of the things they get up to are truly malicious and worthy of scorn. After Erik finds out Pierre was forced to withdraw from school, he challenges the seniors to a fight. I ...


      • Evil (Ondskan) (2003) - Movie
      found that part immensely satisfying because he defeats them. His affair with Marja is discovered and Erik yet again faces expulsion. He lawyers up though, and the school is beat.

      This was about nature versus nurture as far as violence was concerned. Erik isn’t violent by nature and throughout the movie, he worried that he was. He stopped attacking and defended through endurance and pliant resistance. He realized in the end that there are times when standing still won’t save the day. Standing up for yourself isn’t just about the ability to overpower physically but taking a stand and fighting with something other than your fists. Sometimes, a fight is what is needed. He realizes this when he returns home and finds that his father has taken to beating his mother. He concludes that some violence is in order and pays his father back in kind.

      I felt vindicated alongside Erik and enjoyed this movie. It’s not meant to deliver a strong moral message. It’s about the relationship a boy has with violence and what kind of man that relationship will make him. At the end of the day, he knew where he stood with it. This movie did right by the character of Erik Ponti and knew where it was going. The question of what’s going to happen with Erik after his situation was introduced drove the movie to a clear and satisfying resolution. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the boarding school setting and the themes of violence and bullying.




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