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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wallander - Never judge a book by its serial

When J.W. Eagan said "Never judge a book my its movie", he most probably meant that movie usually make a crap out of the book on why it's based on.

When I saw the BBC series crime procedural drama Wallander, I was enticed by the refreshing plots, awesome acting of Kenneth Branagh, and the scenic beauty of Sweden. It was more than enough to push myself to pickup the novels by Henning Mankell, based on which the series was made.

Boy, I was in for a disappointment! Within a week I finished Faceless Killers, Sidetracked and Dogs of Riga, and my disappointment grew worse with each book. Though I knew they would be procedural dramas, I didn't expect them to explain what Wallander ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day, how he took bath, when he farted and so forth. To add to the misery, the translations were so badly done, that I wondered what kind of editor the publisher had.

For those who are new to Wallander, he is another normal cop, who is fat (but trying to be health conscious by eating salad), divorcee and having a terrible time with his daughter and father. His personal life is so screwed up , but still he manages to keep a straight head by promising to visit his father at 8 o'clock in the night, and not turning up. He loses his control (well, sexual) with the local public prosecutor (but finally manages to bed her), and concludes things fast and always goes on the wrong track.

Even though the actual Wallander turned out to be a disappointment, Kenneth Branagh did a wonderful job in the British series. Wallander had been adapted for screen in Swedish films, but Kenneth has given a new perspective to the boring Scandinavian detective. It's sad that they have so far made only six episodes, but a new season of three more episodes is supposed to be out in 2012. I will wait for the serial than read the other books in the series, which has caused me to despise the character whom I liked a lot when I watched him on screen.

Some of the book stores have been promoting Wallander as the next thing to read after The Millennium series by Steig Larrison. My opinion - Don't read the books, watch the series.

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