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Wallander - Series 1-3 [DVD] 
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Kenneth Branagh stars as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in nine feature length dramas based on the best-selling detective series by Henning Mankell - an international publishing phenomenon.
Having relocated to the Swedish countryside, Wallander’s fresh start is crushed when the remains of a young woman are found buried in his back garden in An Event in Autumn. The body is at least five years old. The remains of another young woman are washed up on the shore. She was last seen boarding a ferry – but did she jump or was she pushed?
In The Dogs of Riga, the corpses of two Latvian men are discovered on a life raft in Ystad harbour. Covered in Russian mafia tattoos, they’ve been tortured and brutally murdered. When Wallander travels to Riga in search of the killers, he becomes entangled in a web of corruption. Who can he trust?
Anna Westin, a childhood friend of Wallander’s daughter Linda, goes missing shortly after visiting Wallander in Before the Frost. Elsewhere a religious fanatic – Jannek Langas – seems to be responsible for the murder of an elderly woman whose burnt body is found in the woods. When a connection between Westin and Langas is found, Wallander and Linda fear for Anna’s safety.
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Top Customer Reviews
Wallander was always going to be a tough sell to a British audience. The books are dark, moody and pretty depressing. I was glad to see that this first series was well enough received to lead to a second and third, and I sincerely hope a fourth is on its way.
The series follows the life of Kurt Wallander, as he struggles to cope with weird murders in his provincial hometown, Ystad. On top of his work troubles, he has an incredibly difficult private life - divorced, difficult relationship with troubled daughter and equally difficult relationship with his artist father, who suffers from Alzheimer's and never approved of Kurt's decision to join the police. Not exactly happy families!
Wallander is played exceptionally well by Branagh. Having read the books he is exactly as I picture the detective in my head. But this is only part of the joy of the production. There are some great supporting actors, notably David Warner as Wallander Snr and Richard McCabe as Nyberg. The director really has a feel for the pace of the books, and an eye for the scenery. There is a feeling that every shot is carefully composed and framed, and the natural beauty of Sweden is used to good effect. The end result is engrossing, intricately plotted, moody drama of the highest order. It's not the sort of thing you'd want to watch on a summer's day though, it is suited for the cold dark winter nights.Read more ›
It's a magnificent series - one which retains its quality throughout. There will always be debate about whether an English language interpretation of Nordic Noir can do justice to the original. For me, Branagh's Wallander comes incredibly close to capturing the essence of Sweden's splendid sadness and the core character's emotional turmoil (far more so than the re-makes of The Killing or Dragon Tattoo).
Each episode is intelligently paced, the investigation interlaced with events in Wallander's life. The filming is absurdly accomplished. Almost every frame is a painting; the characters and vehicles drift almost accidentally through the scenes as if bleak, beautiful Sweden itself is the star of the series. Acts of extreme violence, of hate and horror play out against these backdrops as Wallander struggles to make sense of his world.
Some scenes require no dialogue whatsoever; a flinch, a shrug, a walking away. In others, the scripting is superb; Wallander can barely manage a coherent sentence when confronted with his family, when he *should* express himself clearly... but in a professional crisis he is transformed, given purpose and confidence by his calling.
It isn't all angst and woe, of course.Read more ›
The accompanying documentaries are also very worthwhile, covering both the author and how the Wallander books are affected by recent Swedish history and culture.
Even if you have seen most episodes on TV they are definitely worth watching again.
Branagh and the entire cast are first class and the filming done on location is superb.
Bad news: if you love the books you're gonna be dissappointed. The books are works of arts, every twist has a reason, every character is important. Sure, they can't do the whole book 1:1, but there's too many totally useless changes in the stories. Kenneth Branagh plays very well, he's a brilliant actor. The whole atmosphere is done well too, and Sweden is a dark and lovely place, as in the original books.
But it's a shame how much they changed the stories themselves. Apart from the fact that the sequence is just wrong (it was mentioned here before, so I won't bother with writing the correct one) Wallander is a very different character. Same with his father - in the books he was quite alright in terms of his dementia until the very end, there were one or two occasions where he's not exactly aware of what he's doing, but in general he was fine. Here he's disintegrating straight away...I'm really kinda sad, it would have been such a great chance to make a series which actually matches the books and their meaning.
2 stars - and if it wasn't for the very good acting and the ecenery it would have been only one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great series one of the best detective series. I've read all the books and the DVDs are on par or better than the book. A credit to the lead actor Kevin BrannaghPublished 7 days ago by william wright
Arrived next day. Immaculate quality, fantastic service and value for money!Published 14 days ago by Steph Bugler
Watched the last series on tv and was hooked so bought the first 3 series and I am enjoying them.Published 16 days ago by cherrybee
Compared with the iconic Wallender series starring Krister Henriksson, this British version just does not come up to scratch: not even close. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Enthusiast
Great series, Kenneth B superb in the part so true to the books well worth watchingPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer