‘Wallander: The Revenge,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


The first “Wallander” novels by Henning Mankell were published in Sweden in the early 1990s. There have been Wallander movies and TV series in Sweden, as well as a British adaptation with Kenneth Branagh as the depressed detective Kurt Wallander that played in the U.S. on “Masterpiece: Mystery.”

But “Wallander: The Revenge” is the first of the Swedish adaptations to reach this country, in the wake of the “Girl with the Dragon-Tattoo”-inspired frenzy for Scandinavian mystery-thrillers.

The Branagh version was slow-moving and understandably depressive; this version, with Krister Henricksson in the central role, has the headlong sense of purpose of an episode of “Law & Order.” It’s not significantly more stylish – and not much deeper, for that matter.

The attraction of this series is meant to be the complexity of Wallander’s emotional life. In the series, he’s got a dead marriage, a tentative but fragile relationship with his daughter, a father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and potentially the same diagnosis somewhere in his future. He’s abrupt with coworkers and subordinates, but able to make deductive leaps worthy of the hero of a series of detective novels.

Only a little of the latter bleeds into this film, directed by Charlotte Brandstrom.

This review continues on my website.

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