THE PLOT THUS FAR
A series of thirteen 90 minute episodes based on original stories from immensely popular Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, “WALLANDER” follows the titular chief inspector Kurt Wallander (Krister Henriksson) as he investigates crimes and solves mysteries in the deceptively dark underbelly of picturesque modern Sweden.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Wallander” follows a single case per season, so it doesn’t matter too much if you miss the occasional episode. Krister Henriksson is great as the eponymous Kurt Wallander, a police inspector in the Swedish city of Ystad. He isn’t the only Wallander in the department, his daughter Linda is also on the force. She is played by the late Johanna Sällström who did a great job, it was rather sad watching it to know that this able actress is no longer alive.
The scenery is wonderful, and the cinematography is atmospheric and skillful. The music is clever and never feels intrusive or too-much. The writing is always top notch, always moving, intelligent or goosebump-inducing, while the story lines are beautifully constructed with situations that are realistic and plausible and there are plenty of chilling and nail-biting moments. The direction is excellent constantly, while the acting is absolutely fantastic.
But, what’s the difference between the British Branagh version and this slower Swedish style? British Wallander is quite pacey, moving the story along briskly from scene to scene. Whilst this mostly works, it does occasionally occur at the expense of scene and/or character development – the camera is forced to follow Kurt, leaving other characters as cyphers. This is most notable during scenes with colleagues at police HQ. Swedish Wallander adopts a slower style, allowing characters and stories to develop and unfold with greater subtlety. This approach leads to a second and quite fundamental difference, and it is this element that underlines the superiority of the Swedish Wallander.
The DVD comes with both the first and second seasons of the popular show. There are no special features, but you get endless hours of material. Still, there needed to be something to help usher in new fans. The A/V Quality is surprising strong for World Entertainment in standard definition. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!