Hamilton: In the interest of a nation ( I Nationens Intresse) is a Swedish movie based on a book from Jan Guillou with the same title. After the release in January 2012 it became a blockbuster in Sweden and other Nordic countries. I saw this movie ca 6 months ago and I have been intrigued by its story, hence I write this late post.
The story (spoiler alert)
Carl Hamilton is a Swedish spy, trained as a Navy Seal in the USA. The movie starts with a negotiation of stolen rockets somewhere in Uzbekistan. Hamilton is there, undercover. When things go bad, he manages to escape after having killed a dozen of people.
Back in Sweden he picks up his relationship with his ex girlfriend. She ended the relationship before because she was worried about him working as a spy. They end up in bed at her place. He shares his thoughts with her about quitting as a spy and wanting to build a life with her at his side. She is happy with this. After that she goes to work for her late night shift (she’s a doctor).
Hamilton stays awake, eating an apple with a knife. He then falls asleep on the sofa with the knife in his hand. He has nightmare from the last op in Uzbekistan. Girlfriend comes home, tiptoeing not wanting to wake him up, she tries to kiss him, in a reflex he cuts her throat. He kills her!
Shocked but calmly Hamilton arranges a situation as if someone breaks into his girlfriend’s appartment. He erases his traces and leaves.
The following day police investigates the appartment. An agent finds Hamilton’s picture on the nightstand. She starts digging him out but couldn’t find any information because Hamilton is a spy. His personal records are protected for his safety. This triggers the agent more. She is determined to find the murderer of that poor female doctor.
Meanwhile Hamilton confesses this tragic accident to his superior. Hamilton blames him for making him a killingmachine, he even kills his ow n girlfriend in a reflex. Instead of quitting the job and in order to get over his girlfriend’s death, Hamilton is assigned to free a kidnapped Swedish scientist in Ethiopia. Later on it turns that this case has something to do with the failed op in Uzbekistan which leads into a weapon scandal on international scale.
Back again in Sweden after having executed the assignment in Ethiopia succesfully, Hamilton pays the agent who investigates his girlfriend’s death, a visit. He confesses he killed her by accident. Politely he asks the agent to drop the case off because he is trained to kill people. No matter how sorry and sad he is about it, it was his trained reflex. He is trained to protect the country, in the interest of the nation.
Carl Hamilton is a spy with a conscience. This is exceptional because it is rarely shown in books and movies.
Conscience definition according to Oxford Dictionary: A person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour:
No matter how well he is trained as a killingmachine, how effective he operates, Hamilton is haunted by his own conscience.
After watching this I have been having these questions: In what level can a human support this despite an impeccable training? How long is he able to get on with this before his nerves break down? I am no psychologist but this seems almost impossible, it’s too much to bear. To me, human’s conscience is a life compass.
The movie opens fast. Hamilton has been dubbed as Swedish James Bond. I have to digress. Hamilton is not as fancy as James Bond. His character is real and raw, no Martini on the rocks, no suits, no beautiful glamourous women but the real deal. I prefer to compare his actions to Jason Bourne.
Hamilton I Nationens Intresse is the first of the trilogy. The second part, Agent Hamilton – But Not If It Concerns Your Daughter was issued in September 2012.