Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Wallender

I seem to be writing a lot about TV right now. Two reasons. 1. It's winter and a lot of new shows are coming on line. 2. It's winter and I'm not getting out much. Oh look! It's just started to snow.

Last night's new show was Wallender, starring Kenneth Branagh. Wallender is the hero of a series of Swedish detective novels written by Ingmar Bergman's son-in-law. I wasn't disappointed. I've not always been a fan of Branagh's screen acting; he can be too assertive, too stagey, but this performance was pitched just right-  muted, frequently on the brink of tears- with the odd, brief, crinkly smile. He's a damn good actor. The story was generic- involving a serial killer and a paedophile ring- and I spotted the killer a little before I would have done if this had been Agatha Christie, but no matter; it was as much about wayward fathers as crime. Wallender's own father- a stuckist painter in the first stages of Altzheimers- was played by David Warner- once the greatest Hamlet of his generation, now enjoying an Indian summer after a blighted  mid-career. I love David Warner. The landscapes were bathed in lovely, low-wattage, Swedish light and there was a stunning pre-credits sequence in which a girl set herself on fire in a field of yellow rape. After that you really had no choice but to go on watching.
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