16 January 2013 | cranialsi
So much better
Like many who have come to admire the detective written about by Henning Menckell, the first Wallander I saw as an English speaker was the Kenneth Brannagh one and I was impressed and moved by the writing and acting. However when I stumbled on this series on you tube, a whole new door opened on the likable detective. Where Brannagh plays Wallander as a man who lives in a world of crime and is not emotionally shut down, Lassgard does something much more interesting with the character for me. Hung up on his relationship with Maja a colleague who he pushes away with his own self-destructiveness, Lassgard is a passionate Wallander, on the edge from diabetes, long hours, difficult colleagues and a host of other factors. For me comparing the episode 'Firewall' shows how much the Swedish crew understand the Wallander character. The whole story is told in twice as much time and yet wastes nothing in the telling. At the conclusion when global bank terrorism is averted even the police see that if there had been no murders, it would have been no bad thing. This seems so much more real than the one dimensional English version where something as frank would never pass through the BBC production office post 9/11. Fundamentally these are so much better shows than their English speaking counterparts and well worth the time reading subtitles to get a real feel for the likable Wallander.