26 September 2012

Video based on literature

I don't usually write about visual media. But I've had some health problems for the last month and have not had enough energy to read much more than newspaper headlines.

This afternoon I logged on to Netflix looking for a couple old favorites (think The Prisoner and SCTV; they're only available on DVDs).

What I did find was Wallander, the Swedish TV series. I enjoyed the BBC series starring Kenneth Branagh as Henning Mankell's dyspeptic detective, so I decided to take a look at the original.

The Swedish series is made up of 29 episodes. The one I watched was Hämnden (The Revenge). It was the first episode of the second season and released to theaters before it was broadcast. For that reason, it might not be fair to compare this with the episodes of Wallander produced by the BBC.

Henriksson as Wallander
In any case, it was so much more satisfying than the BBC episodes. There were several themes: immigrants to Sweden; women's rights; the role of the military in a system that runs on rule-of-law, and how to preserve civil liberties in the face of terrorism. Oh, and there's some personal stuff about Kurt Wallander.

Krister Henriksson, who plays Wallander in the Swedish version, portrays a more human, less depressive detective than Branagh. The detective still has no life beyond his job and his dog -- even though he had just bought a house on the coast outside of Ystad, the small town he works in.

I look forward to watching other episodes of the home-grown Swedish version of Wallander, even if I have to read sub-titles keep track of what's going on.

Have you seen any of the episodes of the Swedish series, Wallander? What did you think? Write and tell this little bit of the world what you thought.

Or go to Netflix.

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