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Film / Ted: För kärlekens skull

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Ted: För kärlekens skull ("Ted: For Love's Sake" in English), also known as Ted: Show Me Love, is a 2018 Swedish film directed and written by Hannes Holm and produced by Lena Rehnberg. The film recounts the life of Ted Gärdestad (Adam Pålsson), who was one of Sweden's best-known pop artists in the 1970s, his personal relationships, including that with his brother Kenneth (Peter Viitanen), who wrote the lyrics for Ted's songs, and Ted's struggles with schizophrenia.

This film features examples of:

  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Ted is playing Björn Borg in the finals of the Swedish tennis championships, he notices Borg's girlfriend Helena Anliot in the audience, and his concentration is disrupted by a sudden inspiration for a song about her, losing the game.
  • Downer Ending: A the end of the film, Ted relapses into his madness and is heavily implied that he commits suicide (the same way Ted Gärdestad did in real life).
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anyone acquainted with the life story of Ted Gärdestad knows that his mental issues will only worsen, and eventually result in the end of his life.
  • From Bad to Worse: Ted's progressive descent into madness.
  • Go into the Light: The film ends with Ted walking towards a light, hinting at how in real life Ted committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.
  • Groupie Brigade: After Ted becomes famous as a pop singer, he starts acquiring one. One performance has him mobbed by the enthusiastic audience, finally having to escape through a window with the help of two police officers.
  • Hero of Another Story: It's very clear that even though they're supporting characters in Ted's story, Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida are onto bigger things.
  • Historical Domain Character: ABBA (and their manager Stig Anderson) appear as prominent supporting characters, as they collaborated with Ted's early imput. In addition, tennis player Björn Borg appears having a game with Ted, as Ted was a promising tennis player and once considered a professional career before choosing a career in music.
  • Hope Spot: After an episode where Ted destroys a framed publicity photo and his guitar, Kenneth manages to comfort him and Ted suddenly realises that the threatening man in his hallucinations does not actually exist, and tells Kenneth that he wants him to write lyrics for him again. Then at an outdoor concert in Stockholm, Ted publicly acknowledges Kenneth's support, and performs the song Kenneth wrote for him in front of an audience with his family and friends present. It seems like Ted has finally overcome his mental instability — only to relapse into his madness at the end of the film, showing him hallucinating about a girl he saw in a library at the beginning of the film, and walking towards a light, hinting at how Ted committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.
  • Neat Freak: When Ted returns from Rajneeshpuram, his family welcome him back but are embarrassed to discover his obsessive cleanliness and germophobia.
  • Performance Anxiety: At the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem, as he is preparing to go on stage as the Swedish representative, Ted suffers a breakdown and starts hearing voices. After taking a strong dose of Valium he gets on the stage, but with a lacklustre performance that yields very few points. At his hotel room after the contest, he suffers new hallucinations.
  • Pretty in Mink: The ABBA girls are shown with fur coats, much like they did at the time in real life.
  • Redemption Rejection: A heartbreakingly grounded example, in the sense that the person offered a chance isn't evil but suffering a terrible mental illness. Kenneth tries to talk to Ted about music and family, saying that Ted's wife would welcome getting in touch with him and that Ted might try to play just for the fun of it, but he is attacked by an enraged Ted who accuses Kenneth of siding with the demons tormenting him.
  • Sanity Slippage: Much of the film is devoted to show Ted experiencing the symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Terrified of Germs: Ted develops germophobia by the time he returns from Rajneeshpuram.
  • Young Future Famous People: Early on the film, Ted is shown competing in tennis against a young Björn Borg, who would go on to become a world No. 1 tennis player and be widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.