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Henning Mankell's Wallander
Blu-ray | Box Set
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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.
The Godfather of Swedish crime. --The Washington Post
Sweden's greatest living mystery writer. --Los Angeles Times
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Top Customer Reviews
The Music Box collection of the second season is exceptional, as well as only enhanced by the addition of Lena Endre to the cast. The only caveat comes with the direction and over-use of soft, light-diffused cinematography in the episode titled Arvet (The Heritage), which is sadly intrusive.
While I have enjoyed both Rolf Lassgård and Kenneth Branaghs'interpretations of Kurt Wallander, Krister Henriksson's characterization here remains, for me, the definitive portrayal of Mankell's world-weary detective, and the 26 episode Swedish television series the best of Wallander's appearances in film. If you are a fan of Mankell's detective in print, or Scandinavian crime dramas in general, this is not to be missed!
I eagerly await series 3 in 2013.
Update: August 6, 2013
I have now watched all of the Branagh Wallanders on Netflix. They are certainly worth watching, and it is nice that there is no real overlap between the Branagh and Henriksson series (in the sense that the Branagh series is based on earlier Mankell stories, and is in this sense, a prequel). But i still think Henriksson's portrayal of Wallander is better, and urge anyone who enjoys the Branagh version to give Henriksson a try.
Henriksson is steely-eyed and stony-faced; understated; and as genuine as the Gracean formula in his hair and the Every-Who-in-Whoville-ness of his beer gut. Branagh, in contrast, looks like he just left the set of the View (where he was part of an intervention) and took Hollywood lessons on how to brandish a gun. Henriksson wears a cheap suit and tie (in which he appears demonstrably uncomfortable); Branagh wears a laid back army jacket, and the fashion-appropriate amount of razor stubble. It is obvious, when watching Henriksson's Wallander, why his daughter is mad at him (because he is, after all, a callous prick, who has always put his job before his family); but it never seems justifed when her counterpart is upset with Branagh's Wallander. Branagh is, in short, too warm and fuzzy. Henriksson is spot on.
all that said, it could be that things just seem smarter when you are reading subtitles.
Some of the episodes are much better developed than others and some are much too intense for me (e.g., coincidentally, episode 4 in each of the 2 seasons). But these programs are so well produced and balanced between visual images and dialog, I completely forget I am reading subtitles.
The European and British police procedurals tend to be 60- or 90-minute episodes rather than the, at best, 45-minute US episodes, so they have a very clear advantage from the get-go. AND they clearly demonstrate they know how to use that advantage (plus they rarely chop them up to fit the action between commercial breaks!). All-in-all, this advantage makes for a much more interesting and satisfying viewing experience, even when viewing the US programs on DVD/downloads; they chopped up story lines & action are VERY distracting.
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