Saturday, 17 May 2014

Wallander : The Troubled Man (2013)

It's something of a bittersweet joy to turn on BBC4 this Saturday evening and see Krister Henriksson return to the role of Kurt Wallander for one more, final (though he's said that before!) series commencing with an adaptation of The Troubled Man.

Bittersweet because his performance, arguably the most successful interpretation of Henning Mankell's Swedish sleuth (though personally I feel Rolf Lassgård is the Wallander of the books, whilst Henriksson is the more wise and adjusted senior figure that Kurt has become in the years beyond the books) now has to convey what fate Mankell has placed upon his literary creation; dementia.  

Much has changed since the 2009 run of films; Wallander's romance and departure from Ystad and its police force has now been reversed and is not touched upon or explained, whilst we also have his daughter Linda return to the fold (played now by Charlotta Jonsson, following the tragic suicide of Johanna Sällström) alongside a husband and infant daughter. But there's also much that remains unchanged, not least of all being the fact that Kurt is still a policeman, despite surely being past retirement age now?

The film, broadcast tonight on BBC4, was good but not as outstanding and satisfying as many of the previous films. I can't really say if this adaptation stands up to Mankell's novel as its the one book I have, thus far, refused to read. The thought of Kurt succumbing to dementia like his father before him is an experience I was loathe to endure on the printed page. Indeed, it's an experience that made me wince several times throughout this film, and I know they've toned down his memory lapses and symptoms here.  I guess I just don't want to see my heroes fade away but, for now, it's good to have Wallander and Henriksson back.

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