Author Topic: Wallander  (Read 2446 times)

Wallander
« on: December 10, 2008, 01:48:57 pm »
Last night I watched a Wallender film that I'd recorded from BBC4, which was was/is having a "eurosleuth" "season" - 4 films, 2 Wallenders and 2 of an Italian (Sicilian I think) detective.

I found the Swedish Wallender (from BBC4) to be hugely superior to the BBC1 version with Kenneth Branagh in the lead role.

As a reader of the books I'm familiar with the main charectors, but I found it hard to identify them on the UK programme, and when I did they were quite different from what I expected. Not necessarily  bad thing, but the production failed to grip my attention. Branagh came across like a gloomy Shoestring (for those old enough to remember). In fact Trevor Eve would probably have made a better Wallender than Branagh.

The Swedish film, by contrast, had characters that felt right, and was really quite gripping.
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Jezza

Re: Wallander
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 05:26:23 pm »
Funny - I thought the opposite.

My intial take on it was naturally the most superfluous - that the Swedish female cast were a great deal more absorbing than their British counterparts. I enjoyed the Swedish Wallander, and it was certainly gripping, but the plot seemed to become increasingly far-fetched until I resorted to silently mouthing 'oh puhleeze' while chewing my fingernails and gawping. Two blondes in nighties on a descending platform with nooses round their neck? Another blonde chained to a radiator in her underwear? It certainly got my attention, swiftly followed by 'puhleeze'.

Svensk Wallander seemed to have become accustomed to his inadequacies; Branagh's seems perpetually on the verge of tears, and sometimes well across it. I suppose I'm not as familiar with Branagh as an actor as many in the UK, but I thought he was excellent: grey, haggard and tormented. In fact the whole of the British version seemed more slick. I spent many years watching Swedish TV, and can honestly say it wasn't the fault of the actors they were so wooden; no, Swedes really aren't that demonstrative at the best of times. But even so, too many were caricatures. The plot was bizarre, with our psychokiller bugging the police station, turning up in disguise as a cleaner, breaking into Wallander's flat (repeatedly), breaking into Martinsson's place, abducting his daughter, squirting some blood around that he'd siphoned off another corpse, and when finding he had a spare hour, nipping down to the firing range to cunningly doctor the ammunition just before Linda turned up to prove she was a better cop than her dad, ensuring that as the only witness able to provide a description, she was blinded, rather than killed. (Too easy, y'see. Too nice.) Puhleeze. 

British version is beautifully filmed - washed out, grey, brooding, introspective angles. Svensk version was pretty run-of-the-mill Eurocop style, with a bit of sexual tension between Linda (whose show it's become) and the dumb-looking studcop in leather coat. I love the effort the Brits have made, putting the chief on a real Swedish TV channel, the roadsigns, the continuity. But the incessant, inevitable anglicization is annoying. 'Wollander' when it should be 'Val-LAN-der'. Arne became Arnie. Nyberg became 'Nigh-berg' instead of Noobarg. And when some brave soul attempted 'Ystad' I said 'bless-you' out of sympathy. The Swedish one reminded me of a Euro cop show trying to live up to the excitement of CSI. The British version unfurled gently in monochrome with a restrained touch, slower, more cerebral, to my mind exactly how Wallander should be. And also, oddly, somehow more Swedish.   

border-rider

Re: Wallander
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 05:42:17 pm »
good post Jezza

I haven't seen the Swedish one, but your observations on the British Wallander seem apt to me.  I'm enjoying it, in a gloomy sort of way.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 08:55:01 pm »
Lots and lots of tobacco coloured filter. I liked that....
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CAMRAMan

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 01:28:00 pm »
Resurrecting this one, as I've only recently had the chance to see the Wallander Swedish series. Don't think I could watch the Brit one.

I like it. I've seen maybe 10 of them now and enjoyed it. The characterisations are quite good, except for the macho male dick/cock. He is a bit two-dimensional. The storylines are pretty standard detective fare most of the time, but with a Swedish twist. I think Wallander is played well and is plausible.

Two irritating distractions:
1) The Skanian accent. I didn't ever get used to it or like when I was in Sweden.
2) They don't translate the swearing well at all sometimes. It tends to be milder in the subtitles, which detracts from the message.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 02:54:12 pm »
Svensk version was pretty run-of-the-mill Eurocop style, with a bit of sexual tension between Linda (whose show it's become)

IIRC Henning Mankell was deliberately easing Kurt Wallander into the background for Linda to take over.  Unfortunately this was rather spoiled when Johanna Sällström committed suicide in 2007 :'(  Mankell says any future novels won't have Linda in them.
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mattc

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 03:47:49 pm »
The Brit version is back soon (judging by woss-isname touting himself all round the Beeb). 2nd series?

Looking forward to it, but it's not great in the midst of S.A.D. !
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Re: Wallander
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 11:27:54 am »
The discussion of this seems to have spread over other threads, but there's been enough of it I thought this one should be revived.

So . . . who else is watching?

Was Kim Christensen Danish, or is there a Swedish dialect which sounds like Danish?
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Manotea

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 03:12:07 pm »
Mrs Manotea watches.

Then again, she's currently working her way through her boxed set of 'Spooks'. Every now and then I catch a few minutes only to say, 'but I thought she was dead...'.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Wallander
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 11:01:29 am »
The discussion of this seems to have spread over other threads, but there's been enough of it I thought this one should be revived.

So . . . who else is watching?

Was Kim Christensen Danish, or is there a Swedish dialect which sounds like Danish?


As a rule of thumb "-sen" suffices denote Danish heritage (or Norwegian), whilst "-son" denotes Swedish.

Kim was Danish, but the Scanian accent (of which there are mercifully few such characters in Wallander!) can sound very guttural and almost Danish, which is hardly surprising seeing as that part of Sweden was part of Denmark for centuries!.

My gripe with Wallander is that it has turned into Eastenders. The last episode I saw had Pontus and the female rookie bedding each other following a really awful teenage "should we/shouldn't we" scene outside a club. The on/off relationship between Wallander & the prosecutor is also a pain. These side plots really detract from the psychological twists and make this series far inferior to the first one - even though that one got angsty at the end. It's a bit style over content at the moment for me...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 11:38:05 am »
I thought it was about time that Pontus and Isabelle started making the beast with two backs...
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CAMRAMan

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 01:07:23 pm »
Me too, but the way it was scripted was feckin' dire...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

CAMRAMan

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 07:49:49 am »
Just seen the first ever episode. Made for German TV by the looks of the titles. It was excellent! Over-grainy camera work, I'll grant you, but not too distracting. The plot is excellent and the pace is just about perfect and much better than having things resolved in a single episode.

If there's one gripe, it's watching a dark, Nordic TV detective at work when it's Midsummer here!
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Wallander
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2013, 07:30:16 am »
Well, the second episode felt like the writers had had a meeting where they'd been told that it was a two-parter, not three. After the well-paced first episode, where the killer's credentials were established, the second part felt very hurried, and all too coveniently the whodunnit revealed. Very disappointing. Another one destroyed by bad editing, perhaps.
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IanDG

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 08:52:57 am »
It raced along too quickly at the end of last night's episode. It seemed to me as though big chunks had been cut.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Wallander
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2014, 10:08:34 pm »
It's back! Tomorrow!
Which is strange because I thought Krister wotshisface had already done his last series, but apparently this is it.....
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Re: Wallander
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 11:43:03 am »
Well, it's the last book.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897