Set in Ystad, Sweden
Three Wallanders – Take Your Pick
First up is Rolf Lassgård as Wallander. Between 1994 and 2007, all nine Wallander novels were made into films in Sweden starring Lassgård. They are straight adaptations from the novels and Lassgård skillfully plays the moody, sad sack investigator we love in Henning Mankell’s books.
Second in line is Krister Henriksson who starred in the highly acclaimed TV series that began airing in 2005, the first of which – Before the Frost – was a feature-length film and was released in cinemas. Apparently when Henriksson was first urged to take on the role of Wallander around 2004 he refused. That was until Henning Mankell himself gave him a call. Henriksson was sent the books and after reading, said of the character, ‘I regognised my life.’ This statement is reflected in his brilliantly natural performance. Henriksson is the committed, weary cop; an overprotective father and a brash colleague, but he also leans towards the more sensitive fatherly side of Wallander’s character.
The most recent Wallander on our screens was Kenneth Branagh. Branagh’s take on the classic Swedish investigator is humourous and sincere. He is the rough and tired Wallander we know and contrasts wonderfully with the young, spritely sidekick, Magnus, played by Tom Hiddleston. My personal favourite, Branagh’s version of Wallander shows the murky undercurrent of his depression and the dark side of a day job of dealing with murders. There is a raw honesty about his approach to the character that I think is very evocative.