Review: Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander: Before the Frost-Wallander: Before the Frost (2012)

Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander: Before the Frost-Wallander: Before the Frost (2012)

Directed by: Charles Martin | 90 minutes | crime, thriller | Actors: Holly Atkins, Kenneth Branagh, Emily Bruni, Andrew Buckley, Lindsay Duncan, Annette Ekblom, Lynn Farleigh, Mark Hadvield, Anna Hewson, Cecilia Hjalmarsson, Barnaby Kay, David Mallinson, Richard McCabe, Maimie McCoy, Saskia Reeves, Sarah Smart, Jeany Spark, Carol Sparks, Rebekah Staton, Mark Webb, Paul Andrew Williams

The episode ‘For the Prince’ is not so much about Kurt Wallander (played by Kenneth Branagh in this British series). This episode also features Wallander’s daughter Linda (played by Jeany Spark). Daughter may not be an experienced detective, but she is inventive and has her father’s detective genes. While Dad is busy with another case, Linda single-handedly sets out to solve a strange case.

This last episode of the third season around Wallander is mainly about the interaction between father and daughter. The characters clash and that results in tasty scenes. The reason for these struggles lies in a matter that is very personal to Linda. She wants her father to put his energy into investigating her childhood friend’s disappearance, but Kurt is too busy. He must track down a sadist and investigate a murder case. The stubborn Linda therefore decides to investigate the disappearance of her friend herself.

The clash between father and daughter is well portrayed. You can empathize with both points of view. The interaction between Kurt Wallander and his environment is the strength of this series. Branagh is very strong as the introverted inspector. “I consider Wallander to be an existentialist who wonders what the meaning of life is and why he does what he does. Violence will never become normal for him. He has tremendous empathy for the victims of violent crime. His capacity for empathy almost becomes too much for him, causing his own life to suffer,” the actor said in an interview.

The way in which the melancholy inspector deals with his work gives ‘Wallander’ a special atmosphere. Violence is never portrayed as something beautiful or exciting. The series shows it as it is: ugly and terrifying. ‘For the frost’ is an oppressive episode. By giving Wallander’s daughter an important role, the series remains fresh and surprising. You also get to know the title character in a different way, because the story is also told from a different perspective (the daughter). Impressive episode.

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