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Wallander - Series 2 [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, David Warner, Sarah Smart, Karin Bertling, Jeany Spark
  • Directors: Aisling Walsh, Andy Wilson, Hettie Macdonald, Niall MacCormick, Philip Martin
  • Writers: Henning Mankell, Richard Cottan, Richard McBrien
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 270 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002SZQCAM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,435 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All three feature-length episodes from the second series of the BBC crime drama starring Kenneth Branagh as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander, who investigates a series of violent and terrifying murders in the beautiful setting of Skane, Southern Sweden. Episodes are: 'Faceless Killers', 'The Man Who Smiled' and 'The Fifth Woman'.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In some ways, the BBC are onto a hiding to nothing by adapting the Kurt Wallander novels of Henning Mankell. Firstly there are the afficiandos of the books who might be offended, then there are the lovers of the swedish adaptations that appear on BBC Four. However, thanks to Kanneth Branagh's brilliant performances, I think they have delivered in this second series, probably more than the first.

Branagh is astonishing. His acting is pitch perfect throughout the three episodes. By the last one in this series - The Fifth Woman - you almost feel like smashing through your screen to give him a hug. It's not just that he does misery well - and these shows are bleak, both in subject matter and style - but he also manages to get across the sudden bursts of hope that are almost more painful than the agony. The most impressive moment was when he learns of the death of a close relative. His face, his manner, his tone were all spot-on. It made me think of the moment when I heard about the death of the same person in my life; a jolting, uncomfortable moment for me, but one that left me pointing at the TV and telling my kids, solemnly, that's exactly what it's like.

The other pluses of the show are a strong supporting cast; superb locations; a haunting title track and his mobile phone ring tone - which just about undercuts all the wintry despair every time it trills.

I have read all three novels that these adaptations were based on and, yes, some elements of the books gets lost. I found this especially in 'Faceless Killers' where Wallander - in the book - is an utterly compelling train wreck, but Branagh more than compensates for the deviations and deletions from the source material in his performance. The man is Kurt Wallander.

I saw all of these on the telly, but I will be buying this set so I can put it next to those other Branagh masterclasses on my DVD shelf - Shackleton, Conspiracy and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
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Format: DVD
There are plenty of police dramas in the world already, but Wallander is a welcome addition to the canon. It is set in Sweden, and although it features an all-British cast the bleak rural Swedish landscape becomes a character in it's own right. Kenneth Branagh has won all the accolades going over the course of his career, but personally I've never seen him better. He creates a believable, battered centre to the stories featured and his performance alone is worth the price of this dvd. The plots develop slowly, engrossing and involving just the same. A fantastic series, one of the best new detective dramas to appear on British screens for some considerable time. I have never seen the Swedish version - some people swear that it's better, although I don't know whether that's to do with a kind of one-up-man-ship or not. What I can do is highly recommend the English version.
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Format: DVD
If one does not compare it to the original series the interpretation with Brannagh is quite okay. Brannagh himself as Wallander is brilliant and convincing as always, although the other actors (with exception of his father)let him down a bit. Apart from Wallander there is no one who fascinates or supports his role, like I said with the exception of his dementing father. But this is not the weak point of the series. The weak point is that it is over-dramatized. Each moment and each discussion is full of emotion, worried glanzes and mental torment. After a while it gets on ones nerve. It is tiring and often unnecessary. The strong point of the original Wallander-series is the casual way in which the actors behave. In this interpretation however there is too much drama, too much desperation, until the viewer is as tired and exhausted as Wallander himself, who never seems to sleep and always seems to be close to a nervous breakdown. That has nothing to do with Brannaghs acting, with this man one simply can't go wrong, but the script is weak at best. The stories are far-fetched and thin.

All in all not bad, but too much drama. Couldn't help thinking of Hamlet from time to time...
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Format: DVD
A follow-up series can sometimes disappoint. This one doesn't. If anything, these three feature-length mini-films are better than the first series. They are of a quality which you rarely find in cinematic movies, never mind on made-for-TV dramas.
Each episode is a meticulously produced 90-minute self-contained story, set in southern Sweden, where Kurt Wallender (played by Kenneth Branagh) investigates a variety of violent and emotionally charged murders. The crimes serve more as a back-drop for the evolution and transition of Wallender's character, however. These are three films about a man sliding away from society, whose grip on normal life becomes increasingly tenuous following divorce, estrangement from his daughter, the sudden collapse of his professional life in absolute violence, and the desperate sadness of his father's decline. This is not cheerful viewing, but it is utterly compelling.
There will be countless people who don't like this interpretation of Wallender, who prefer the books or the earlier Swedish TV series. For me, it's not a competition and liking one or all does not affect my enjoyment of the others. Judging the BBC's version of Wallender for its rendition of high-class, intelligent crime drama and ignoring any other criteria then it's hard not to give it the full five stars.

The filming is gorgeous and makes the most of the beautiful, bleak landscape through which roams Wallender's fragmented spirit. The script and dialogue is extremely polished, and Branagh gives a stunning performance in each episode - the exchanges with Wallender's father, played David Warner, are especially poignant and frustrating.
The director also deserves a huge nod for pulling together a superb cast which interacts in a realistic and nuanced manner.
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