Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anti-hero on steroids

Wallander, the Swedish detective in Henning Mankell's books and Kenneth Branagh's BBC series.

God, what a mess he is. Dresses like a slob, on the job, and looks and sounds like he's half-asleep, or coming out of a drunk. But this is not a Columbo mask. He really is a mess. Guilt-ridden, unable to sleep, alienated from those who love him, taking every crime personally, having his own long-drawn nervous breakdown.

Because he killed a killer. In self defense. In the line of duty. But no one, says he, no one has the right to take a life. So he sets about unravelling his own. His moral compass is mad. Evil, actually. Masquerading as utter high-mindedness.

An example of a man --and of a society-- which has ceased to believe in God and has decided to take His place. A burden that only a sinless man could bear.

Anyone else --or any society-- it would drive insane.

And one of the side effects is that he becomes irritatingly boring. His moral obsession seems more and more like a weakness and a self-indulgence, especially as his paralysis wounds and drives away those closest to him because of the deaths of complete strangers. I find that I watch the series despite his character, because the plots are very interesting

PS. The blurb for the upcoming episode: Wallander moves into a dream home with his new girlfriend, but his happiness is shattered when the skeleton of a young girl is discovered in the garden.


Well, duh. Of course.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...