Wallander - Review
I thoroughly recommend it. Wallander is a cop and the show is a police procedural, with, in the one I watched, a sub-plot about the cadet cop's relationship with his dad. There is a link to the main plot here, but I will not spoil it. The episode I saw was called "The Sniper". A lone gunman is killing people. What is the link? Why is he doing it? Can he be found? Etc. Nothing special about that. What makes the show so good is the central character, played by the extraordinary Krister Henriksson, whose inner life is writ large on his craggy face. Indeed, Henriksson does not appear to act, he just sort of sighs and shrugs in quiet desperation. Even when he is close to losing his composure, he never does, but the face has a thousand tiny story-telling permutations and they are totally compelling.
There is nothing very romantic about the scenery. Not a lot of IKEA or ABBA or Absolut in shot. Indeed, not what we think of as Sweden at all - in could be Swindon for all we know, with Saabs and Volvos, and everyone has an estate car. Wallander lives by the sea with a nice woman, who gently takes the piss out of him. Wallander himself is weak with women: he has an uneasy relationship with his female police cadet and there is "history" with the local Coroner, which is done in a scene so understated, but so real, it made me cry. Wallander smokes of course. I suppose he is a cocktail of one part Lemmy Caution, two parts Maigret and a dash of Columbo.
The writers cause the characters to say one thing and do another. It has the effect of making the resolutions at the end fall into place when word and action become one, and it adds realism. Nobody in Wallander is one dimensional. Even the bad guys appear to have complex inner lives.
It is worth a look.
Posted by Wrinkled Weasel on Friday, May 21, 2010