An old friend of Kurt Wallander, solicitor Sten Torstensson, visits him one day to tell him that his father has passed away close to Brösarp under peculiar circumstances. Kurt does not take his friend's worry seriously. Shortly after, the friend is found brutally murdered and Wallander realises too late that he was wrong. In the hunt for the killer Wallander finds a conspiracy of crimes that leads him to a company that handles transplantations of human organs. Behind the company he finds the image of a man. An elegant and self-confident man who writes his own rules. But who is he? Who gives himself the right to judge over other people? Whose morals decide what is right and wrong? Kurt Wallander is not one of them. In "The man who smiled" he gets himself into crossfire of immorality, betrayal, lies and everything else a man will do to be loved. Written by
Wallander vs. well-connected businessman involved in shady and deadly organ transplant activities
The Man Who Smiles (2003) is one of the stories in the first Wallander series that starred Rolf Lassgard. The tone, manner, plotting, and execution of the second series that starred Krister Henriksson is much like this one. However, Lassgard's Wallander is more troubled and prone to greater emotional outbursts.
I am probably being a bit generous in my rating, but really this was a very enjoyable and well done movie, and it's a TV movie at that. The entire cast was good.
The story basically has one main plot and two subplots. In the main story, there have been several murders that eventually lead back to a rich man and his adopted daughter. His reputation and influence are great, making him virtually immune to police investigation. How this plays out is suspenseful, surprising and neat. During the investigation, several attempts are made on Wallander's life. These generate considerable suspense. There is less methodical amassing of clues in this movie than in the series 2 films. There is more focus on Wallander's personal life. That's where the subplots come in.
One subplot runs through the whole movie and that's Kurt's on again off again relationship with a detective he works with, Maja (Marie Richardson). Connected to this and to Kurt's conduct of the case is a relationship that he had with a prostitute (Anna-Lena Hemstrom). This leads to several complications since she knew one of the murdered men.
Christer Fant is a cheerful detective who contrasts with Kurt. I believe Kirsten Andersson played Kurt's boss and/or prosecutor. She was effective.
There's something likable about the movie, beyond the usual, and I think it might be the basic honesty of it and the characters.
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