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|“|| I was also bullied when I was in middle school, but I don't walk around and kill 42-year olds.|
(Why were you bullied?)
|~ Gunvald Larsson's most famous quote.|
Gunvald Larsson is the secondary protagonist of the long-running thriller TV Show, Martin Beck. He is a police officer and the Colleague of the main protagonist, Martin Beck.
He was portrayed by Mikael Persbrandt in the majority of the franchise, but also by Thomas Hellberg in the 1976 movie The Man on the Roof, Bruce Dern in The Laughing Policeman (1973), and Rolf Lassgård in the 1993 episodes.
Gunvald is an imposing man, he strikes fear within every criminal, even colleagues may be scared of him because of his imposing appearance. He despises people who damage other people or atleast are jerks to people. This can be seen as hypocritical, considering he isn't always nice himself, going as far as to often resorting to threats of violence to get what he wants. He is rarely seen having any real fear and is always willing to solve a case no matter how terrible. The only time he was shown to be truly terrified was when the criminal mastermind Dag Sjöberg, successfully handcuffed him and was constantly psychologically abusing him with a gun. Dag had previously killed Gunvald's friend who was also a police officer. Despite being an imposing man, Gunvald has a good sense of (often black) humor and almost always makes some sort of joke in the scenes he is in. There are some exceptions where he has to be serious, most of the examples coming from In the Storm of the eye. Gunvald often plays the role of a tough guy and he plays it well, but it's made very clear throughout the series that underneath it all he has a good heart, a strong sense of justice and fierce loyalty for anyone he considers a friend.
In the Storm of the Eye (2009)
While definitely not his first movie, this was the movie where Gunvald was the most prominent by far, even taking the place as the main protagonist instead of the titular character Martin Beck. At the beginning of the movie, a woman by the name of Kim Reeshaug, a former friend of Gunvald, is seen running away from a mysterious group of people for unknown reasons with her son. She messages Gunvald, and he is a bit shocked, seeing as it was a long while since they talked to each other. He comes to the rescue, only to see a burnt down, dead body. Gunvald was absolutely shocked at this, and the security police come to research what has happened. The day after, Gunvald is sad and heartbroken of what happened, and talks with Martin about what happened, and how he and Kim met. He talked about how one day they meet and had a coffee, they fell in love and went on a holiday, Gunvald even chose to be off duty in two months. Later that day, Gunvald decides to go to the same place where he met Kim and gets even sadder. But fortunately and to his surprise, he sees someone who is almost identical to Kim. He looks a bit confused at the person but then sees that the person he is looking at, is, in fact, Kim. He runs as fast as he can to her and asks what is happening and why she was chased. She is just as shocked as Gunvald, and can't say a thing and only says that the person that was killed was one of her friends. Gunvald gets slightly mad at her because he is trying to help her, yet, she never says anything about what she is involved in. She says that the group that chased her has her child, Tom Reeshaug. Gunvald sets up his own mission to find Tom, without having any other people involved in the mission than himself.
He drives to where the group that kidnapped Tom is and starts chasing them. After a while though, they can't drive anymore, seeing as they are stuck at a bay where they cannot drive. Gunvald walks out of the car and points his gun at the car that the group is in. One of the men walk out but instantly gets shot, while the other man stays in the car. He drives the car as fast as possible, and runs over Gunvald, making him fall into the water, and presumably drown. Gunvald manages to get up, but the man that ran over Gunvald with his car has already called the ambulance. But once the ambulance came, Gunvald has already managed to cheat death. His colleague, Martin Beck is at the place where Gunvald presumably drowned and is worried about him. He drives back to the police station, where his colleague Oskar Bergman is, who is shocked to see that Gunvald somehow still is alive. Oskar helps Gunvald recover, but Oskar gets a call from Martin Beck about that Gunvald is dead. After that, Gunvald calls Beck and says that he is in fact alive. Martin isn't happy at Gunvald announcing this so late and is extremely angry at Gunvald, and he gets even angrier when he notices that Gunvald currently is relaxing at home while the others are worrying about his death. Gunvald doesn't care and walks away. The next day, Gunvald goes to Kim once again to ask her what is going on but doesn't get a real answer. This time Gunvald is angrier than ever at her, considering he has helped her so much, and she never gives any hints about what is happening. It is now, however, revealed that Kim is actually part of an originally American well-intentioned extremist group named EJM that fight for nature, but in more recent years has become a full-on fanatic terrorist group. Kim personally doesn't like what the group has turned into but knows what would happen if she were to leave. Kim has to run away from Gunvald because of the leader of the group, George Robinson is walking up. And she doesn't want them to see each other. Kim is by now very paranoid, because if she were to reveal that she is working with EJM, then Gunvald would be angry and maybe would even stop helping her, but if she were to leave the organization, then she would have been even more hunted. Gunvald walks up to where Kim would usually live, and walks around with a gun. He doesn't see anyone, but then two of the members of the organization comes and beats him down and glues him onto a chair, they beat him down and threatens him. They leave him sitting there for a long time until Oskar and Martin come and help him.
At the climax of the film, the EJM is going to blow up a nuclear power station and demonstrate how easy it is to do such things. In the process of trying to stop EJM from succeeding with this disaster, his main goal is to save Kim and Tom Reesahaug. He calls Tom on the phone and asks him where the car he is in resides. He has no idea and only says that it is in a forest. Gunvald eventually manages to find where Tom is, and as fast as possible breaks the glass, grabs Tom and puts him into his own car where he is safe. He then runs to the power plant, where, along the way, he sees George Robinson. He shoots him, which makes it so that none of his minions can actually talk to him. They all get nervous and have no idea what to do, and then they ask Kim to run and see what happened to George. She refuses and gets shot by one of the other minions. Gunvald comes right in time to see that everyone is dead, including Kim. He is absolutely heartbroken and starts crying.
After this event, Gunvald goes to her funeral, where he gets to see who adopts Tom. He talks with Tom and honors him for how brave he is and how he managed to be so calm when going through so many things. The two leave in an emotional manner.