Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A Wallander film and the power couple of Swedish crime
First, the gossip: I discovered yesterday that Stefan Lindman, a character introduced in Henning Mankell's Return of the Dancing Master who then reappears, having moved to Ystad, in the novel Before the Frost and in the Swedish TV series based on ideas (rather than books) by Mankell, is played with a certain smoldering intensity in the TV series by Ola Rapace (in the center of the movie poster reproduced here)--who happens to be the husband of Noomi Rapace (a publicity photo of this power couple of Swedish crime appears below). Ola Rapace's birth name was Pär Ola Norell, and I'm curious whether the non-Swedish-sounding name "Rapace" was a choice that both of them made when they were married, or if it's simply a name one or both of them was "assigned" by a publicist--anyone know? On to the movie: Wallander: Blodsband (inexplicably called The Black King in the English title) ran on the MhZ network last weekend. It's one of the better in the Wallander TV series starring Krister Henriksson as detective Kurt Wallander and the late Johanna Sällström as Linda, his daughter. We see the murder of a woman on a boat, then follow an investigation that leads to a communal farm and to an old flame of Linda's. A further death suggests a serial murder is in progress and also suggests a link to an escaped criminal and an armored-car robbery. Kurt is more stable (lonely but not angst-ridden) in his personal life and more strict in his conduct of the investigation, but Linda shows some of her past difficulties with depression as well as some lapses in professional conduct. The plot is conventional enough, but the series characters continue to be interesting (we learn a bit more about Nyberg, the "CSI" of the team) as well as the commune's inhabitants, and the scenery here is of the bleak-Swedish-winter variety (not a tourist postcard).