Wallander: Season 1, Episode 1

Sidetracked (10 May 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Thriller
7.1
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Kurt Wallander is a police inspector in the Swedish town of Ystad. Shortly after he has seen a young girl kill herself by self-immolation, he is called to investigate the murder of ... See full summary »

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Title: Sidetracked (10 May 2009)

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Sadie Shimmin ...
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Richard McCabe ...
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Polly Hemingway ...
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Jon Laurimore ...
Jessica Lloyd ...
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Joanna Griffiths ...
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Storyline

Kurt Wallander is a police inspector in the Swedish town of Ystad. Shortly after he has seen a young girl kill herself by self-immolation, he is called to investigate the murder of government minister Wetterstedt. He has been scalped. Wealthy business-man Carlman is murdered in the same fashion, and a serial killer is clearly responsible. Drunken ex-journalist Lars Magnusson points Wallander towards Sandin, a retired and corrupt cop, who admits that he once 'cleaned up' for both the dead men but will offer no more information. The next murder is that of an habitual criminal, who has been tortured before death. His estranged wife and teen aged son are not grief-stricken. His behaviour has traumatized his younger son and sent his daughter into a mental hospital. Following another scalping, and an appeal to the public, a former prostitute tells Wallander that all the victims were connected with a vice ring, importing very young girls into Sweden. The girl who killed herself was probably ... Written by don@minifie-1

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Crime | Thriller

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10 May 2009 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Kenneth Branagh's performance as Swedish cop Kurt Wallander makes it the third time when a famous Swedish movie/television cop gets portrayed by an actor who is not from Sweden/speaking Swedish. The first two are Walter Matthau as Jake Martin (Jake Martin is the americanized version of Martin Beck) in The Laughing Policeman (1973) and Derek Jacobi as Martin Beck in Der Mann, der sich in Luft auflöste (1980). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kurt Wallander: [holding up his badge] Wallander.
Farmer: Thought they would have sent a police car. Lights. Flashing.
Kurt Wallander: There was an accident on the Svarte Road. Cars with lights are all taken.
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Version of Sidetracked (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-made, attentive to details and fresh
16 October 2009 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

This is the way the Swedish Wallander films should have been made in the first place, if at all. I must confess to not having read the books, but I have seen a few of the Swedish films, all done in kind of the same old, drab way that Swedish TV-films are produced: the same old cast is there, the same old way of acting (often as though a character never changes), boring cinematography, horrendous dialogue, bad soundtrack and what seems like no pretensions whatsoever. It's all very meat-and- potatoes. You know exactly what you'll be served, how it'll be presented and how you'll feel having finished it off, especially if you've seen even one previous episode in a series of these Swedish detective films, most notably "Beck". The Wallander series is successful, both as books and as TV films. Successful enough to lure people from England into doing a few TV-films, thankfully using fresh ideas. The film begins where Wallander witnesses an act of self-immolation. It continues with him and his team trying to unveil the identity of the girl who killed herself this way and why, while at the time more crimes are being committed, and are they related in some way? While the police team is focused upon, Wallander's relation to his daughter, his father and his failed marriage are happening. The episodes are spoken in English, but everything else is Swedish; they even shot a lot of footage in Sweden. As I am myself from Sweden, where I live and breathe to this day, it's very refreshing to see people from abroad come in and use our culture to build a quite carefully planned detective drama, where the main character, police detective Kurt Wallander (as played by Kenneth Branagh), is a middle-aged, quite sad character. Branagh portrays Wallander quite humanly, using subtleties and the character's general down-faced mood and thinking to lead the way. The cinematography leaves the Swedish equivalent in the dust, and the direction is tight; as previously stated, this is simply put how I think the series should be done. True, the pronounciation of some words (e.g. "Ystad" like "Gstaad") strike me as interesting and funny, but there are such crisp, subtle clarities left everywhere in this that point to what is so intricately Swedish in some ways, e.g. the bag-in-box phenomenon - as Swedes often purchase their wine in a 3-liter box rather than in a bottle - that leaves any weird ways of saying words in the attic of one's mind. On the characters, I don't think there are any real archetypical edges visible, but rather an assortment of humans who struggle with their personal lives as well as their professional roles. Hence, I feel they become more interesting as the film goes on, even if the progression is slight. All in all, I recommend this series and will most definitely check out the other ones. The Swedish film industry, are you taking notes? You should well be.


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