Wallander by stdepue


									4.0 out of 5 stars Grumpy Detective Drives Around in Car, Solves Cases,
June 14, 2009
Stephanie DePue (Carolina Beach, NC USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Wallander: Sidetracked / Firewall / One Step Behind
"Wallander," is a 2008 British Broadcasting Corporation production that
is set in Sweden. The TV series, a British mystery/crime drama/thriller
is based on the Wallander crime novels of Henning Mankel, Sweden's most
popular author, nationally and internationally: it follows on the heels
of two successful Swedish TV serials of the same material. The boxed DVD
set released here comprises the same three episodes we saw on TV.

Heavyweight British actor Kenneth Branagh (the Harry Potter movies,lots
of Shakespeare, Dead Again,The Gingerbread Man), plays Kurt Wallander,
Swedish cop. I was rather surprised to find such an actor playing a cop:
perhaps he also produced this? At any rate, he turns in a good, intense
performance, as a miserably lonely and unhappy human being and cop. He's
well-supported by the rest of the cast. The veteran David Warner (Planet
of the Apes (Special Edition); Tom Jones (1963)) plays his father, but
only appears on one episode; Jeany Spark plays the detective's daughter
Linda. The detective is ably supported at the station, by Sarah Smart as
Anne-Britt Hoglund; Tom Beard as Svedberg; and Tom Hiddleston as
Martinsson. It is rather odd that this production has been cast with
British actors: they do a good job, but still, most of us will think, I
believe, that there should have been more Swedish, or at least
Scandinavian, actors cast. And we are left wondering whether all these
people can speak Swenglish, as all the road signs, etc., are in Swedish,
while the people in front of them are speaking English. And, while I'm
on this subject, subtitles would have been helpful-- this is a new
production, after all - as Branagh swallows his dialog.

The serial, as the novels on which it is based, is set in Skane, Sweden,
a beautiful, sparsely settled, rather rural and isolated part of the
country, apparently. Many of the exteriors appear to have been filmed
there, and they're lovely, and interesting to look at. Some of the
interiors also look Swedish, but, of course, they might have been filmed
on English sound stages.
The episodes are:
1. Sidetracked. Wallander sees a young woman immolate herself; then a
government minister is murdered and scalped.
2. Firewall. Eighteen year old Sonia admits to the vicious killing of a
taxi driver, but tells Wallander "it doesn't matter any more."
3. One Step Behind. A party of teenagers are murdered as they picnic in
the woods, wearing fancy dress. And Wallander eventually finds out a lot
more about his colleague at the cop shop Svedberg than he wanted to

The TV series "Wallander" bears many resemblances to the late, lamented
British mystery TV series Inspector Morse - Complete Collection; which
was based on the novels of Colin Dexter. So, I understand, do the novels
on which "Wallander" is based, down to the detective's playing Mozart in
his car, resemble Dexter's work. Grumpy detective drives around in car,
solves cases. I found the cases to be rather complex, and interesting,
though I must agree with other reviewers who found them a bit unlikely,
and unwieldy. At any rate, I understand there's another series to come:
subtitles, please, and maybe a few actual Scandinavian actors?

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