Stockholm Syndrome in film industry
There are many movies in the world that try to present romantic content by having similar plots; the leading actor kidnaps the leading actress, and when they spend time together, they fall in love at the end of the story. However, many people do not notice that this is the symptom of Stockholm Syndrome.
Stockholm Syndrome is the symptoms of captive people or the hostages who have a good emotion in their relationships with the criminal, such as sympathy or love, after staying close and spending time together.
This syndrome was founded in 1973; on 23 August 1973, there was a bank robber in Stockholm, a capital city of Sweden; after entry to the bank, the offender shot the gun to the ceiling and shouted, “the party has started, get down to the floor!”. The robber took four hostages in the bank which is three out of four are women, and he demanded one car, money in both of Swedish and foreign currency, and released his friend from prison and brought his friend to the bank. Moreover, one of the hostages said with the reporter that she felt safe when staying with these two offenders, but she feared that the police would use violence. This event ended in six days by using tear gas, and nobody was injured. Both of robbers went along with the police in arresting them; however, before four hostages and two robbers moved to different places, all of the hostages hugged with the robbers, and one of them said that she hoped to see him again. In addition, hostages refused to be the witnesses in the court, and some of them went to visit the robbers in the prison.
After the robbery in Stockholm city, the psychologist considered that four hostages felt shocked on the same level as soldiers who were shocked during war. The psychologist also found that the human body has the mechanism to decrease stress which influences to victims for feeling sympathy with the criminal. This event led to this character being called Stockholm Syndrome.
On the other hand, there is another hypothesis about how people have Stockholm Syndrome. People who are kidnapped might have positive feelings when the offenders take care of them, such as giving food to hostages. Or the offenders might express their feelings which make victims to feel sympathy. However, there are still no completely conclusion
In addition, many cases included Stockholm Syndrome, and many of them are famous and became further than people can imagine. For example, the case of Patricia Hearst, Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment; the criminals took her to live with them, and they also raped and tortured Hearst. Nevertheless, after living with the offenders over a year, she joined the robbery gang in the end. Stockholm Syndrome does not only happen with the kidnapping, but it can happen with every social issue, such as violence from parents or teachers; when that person who are the offenders express any sympathy feelings (even little), it might cause this syndrome to the victims.
So, There are 4 characteristics which can imply to the Stockholm Syndrome
- Hostages have good emotions with the offenders.
- There have been no relationships between hostages and offenders before.
- Hostages do not call for help from police or government during kidnapping .
- Hostages have mankind to the offenders.
As I mentioned before, Stockholm Syndrome was used in plot in many films by not direct referring. There are six films which are famous, and the contents include Stockholm Syndrome.
🚨 spoilers alert 🚨
- Stockholm (2018)
This movie is about the first event of Stockholm Syndrome that I mentioned before.
- Beauty and the beast
One of the most famous fairy tales that was remade many times to be musical, animation, and live action. The story of Belle, a woman villager, who tries to find her father, after her father goes to work. Then she found her father in the prison of the castle, so she gives the exchange with the beast, who is the owner of the castle, to change from her father to her, and the beast agreed with her exchange. However, she had permission to live and walk in the castle. After spending time together, Belle and the beast fall in love with each other in the ending. You can see that after the beast captured Belle, he didn’t harm her, and then Belle had good feelings for him.
- 365 days (2020)
Original Netflix movie that is well known in Thai society, 365 days has many erotic scenes, and this movie is made from the novel. Massimo Torricelli is a mafia man who falls in love with Laura who met him 1 time. After that, he met her again in Italy, so he captures her and told that he will make her love him within 365 days, and if she did not feel anything, she can go back. Massimo also told her that he will not touch her, if she does not allow it. However, they have sex together, and Laura has good emotions and stays with him. This movie got a very low score in reviews from audiences because the plot has nothing complex and attractive, without 18+ scenes. And it is clear to see that Laura loves Massimo who captures her, which is the main character of Stockholm Syndrome.
- JumLeyRak (จำเลยรัก)
Famous Thai soap opera that also remade more than 3 times with the same plot. The story of Harit who is handsome and rich try to revenge for his brother, Harin, after he commit suicide because of heartbroken from his girlfriend, Sansanee who is an elite girl. Sansanee has a cousin named Soraya who stays in the same house with her. Harin is the boyfriend of Sansanee in the beginning, but after Sansanee feels bored; she leaves Harin and marries with another guy. After that, Harit comes to Sansanee house to get revenge, but he captures the wrong person because he thinks that Soraya is Sansanee. Harit took Soraya to the cottage in the forest, but he feels surprised when Soraya can do every housework because he knows that Sansanee does not do any housework. After staying together, Harit falls in love with Soraya, so he decides to let her go. One day Sansanee comes to flirt with Harit, and this makes Harit know the truth. So, Harit reconciles with Soraya at the end of the story.
- King Kong (2005)
This is the second remake from King Kong in 1933, and there are many versions of King Kong, such as King Kong vs. Godzilla. Ann Darrow, an unknown actress, goes to Skull Island to film the movie, however, this visit of the production team wakes King Kong up. King Kong helped Ann from danger after the man eaten capture her, and he takes Ann to the cliff; then King Kong starts to roar at her, but Ann found that Kong would not harm her, just scare her; when she stays in danger, he comes to help her. After that, Ann and Kong became closer. In one night, one of the production team comes to help Ann from King Kong, and they run away. King Kong follows them until the boat, and he was shot with anesthetics, a medicine that influences people to sleep. They capture Kong to New York for showing, but Kong can escape from the chain, and he starts to find Ann. At last, he found her and takes her to the roof-deck of the Empire State building to avoid shooting from soldiers; But finally, he was shot from the planes of soldiers and fell off. Ann is very sad when King Kong dies; even though she was captured by him before.
- 3096 days (2013)
This movie is based on a true story in Australia; the offenders capture Natasha who is 10 years old while she walks to school to his underground room. Natasha is hit and rape by that man many times. And Natasha also tries to escape that room with many methods, but it is useless. That man always said to her that if she tries to escape again, he will kill her. After 1837 days, she has permission to go to the upper floor and go shopping with that man. On day 2175 ( 6 years), Natasha heard news about herself from the radio. And on the last day, she can escape from that man by using the moment that he answers his phone. After that man know, he goes to suicide by the train. Natasha has a chance many times to get away from that man, but she does not do it. However, in my opinion, Natasha is not the kind of Stockholm Syndrome because she hates the offenders and tries to find a way to escape.
These are some examples that many people conclude that the leading actors have symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome. However, it is hard to decide the syndrome of the characters in some movies by only watching. So there are many different comments from internet users. For instance, they said that Belle in Beauty and the Beast does not have Stockholm Syndrome because Belle falls in love with the beast, after he is nice to her.
There is also controversy when the film director decides to use the content that includes Stockholm Syndrome in the story without direct mention. Some people said that this might create a wrong belief in society; Would it be the suggestion for people to copy after the movies. For an example, man might capture a woman and rape her because he think this will make her to fall in love with him. So do you agree when the film’s director uses this plot in the film? Is it just an entertainment story that everyone can set apart from real life? Or it could be the model of crime?