The thing with Wallander is that it creates a wholly believable world which does not exist. It’s set and filmed in a very real locality – Ystad, Sweden – but the real Ystad isn’t the evil, dangerous place of these films. Oh well. Ystad may as well be another world as far as I’m concerned, and so I don’t let the facts get in the way of the fiction. When the fiction is as interesting as it is in Wallander, that isn’t a difficult task.
Many actors go about the business of acting for years and years, gaining plenty of notoriety and fame along the way, but never truly finding that one role that really fits them. Aside from being known as “that Shakespeare guy,” Branagh might be one of those actors, and although it still may be too early to make the call, Kurt Wallander could very well be that elusive role for Branagh. Over the course of six 90-minute TV movies, he’s come to own this part. Actually, he pretty much owned it after the first three, but this new trilogy further cements that truth. These films are completely dependent on his performance, which is always played inward. While the viewer is probably supposed to be concentrating on the facts of the case, it’s all too easy to instead focus on “What is he thinking?” from scene to scene. It can’t be an easy job Branagh has in bringing Wallander to life, and he makes it seem effortless and painful simultaneously.
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