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Wallander - Innan frosten (2005)
Drama,Thriller,Crime
Sweden / English
Tracking a sadistic killer, detective Kurt Wallander follows a string of incidents -- attacks on domestic animals, ritualistic murders of humans -- with help from his daughter, Linda, a new member of the Ystad police force.
Krister Henriksson Kurt Wallander
Johanna Sällström Linda Wallander
Ola Rapace Stefan Lindman
Ellen Mattsson Anna Westin
Niklas Falk Erik Westin
Angela Kovacs Ann-Britt Höglund (as Angela Kovács)
Douglas Johansson Martinsson
Mats Bergman Nyberg
Fredrik Gunnarsson Svartman
Chatarina Larsson Lisa Holgersson
Jens Hultén Torgeir
Karin Bertling Birgitta Medberg
Malena Engström Myran
Maria Arnadottir Malin Krantz
Marianne Mörck Ebba
Director: Kjell-Åke Andersson
Producer: Lars Björkman,Ole Søndberg
Writer: Stefan Ahnhem,Per Berglund
Before the frost there was a murder....
The expectations were high for the new Wallander series. The most expensive Scandinavian production - 13 films in total - and a conscious change of style to the previously filmed Wallander films. The first one in the series, Innan frosten, is the only one of the new stories to be based on a book by Henning Mankell. The other 12 are brand new stories, written especially for the films. It is also the first time Rolf Lassgård doesn't play the role of Kurt Wallander, he is replaced here by Krister Henriksson. Despite some of the negative reviews it has received in Sweden, in Finland it has been well accepted. After having seen Innan frosten in its first week in cinemas I am very pleased with the result.

Innan frosten, or Wallander - Innan frosten as it's named in the opening titles, tells the story of a murder investigation in which detective Kurt Wallander (Krister Henriksson, "Reconstruction") tracks down a sadistic killer that seems to have connections to a religious sect. These are people that are ready to burn a flock of swans to death just to get a vignette on their web site, not to mention what they are willing to do to those that are not true believers. To make matters worse for Wallander, his daughter Linda (Johanna Sällström, "Under ytan") graduates from the Police Academy and joins the Ystad police force. Already on her first day she puts herself in a situation that could be life-threatening, something that her father isn't very thrilled about. In resolving the crime they are joined by the new recruit from Stockholm, Stefan Lindman (Ola Rapace, "Tillsammans"), who was the lead character in Danslärarnes återkomst (The Return of the Dancing Master), an another Mankell bestseller.

I think the producers made a terrific choice with casting Krister Henriksson in the role of Wallander. In this story Wallander has lost weight, tries to live better (despite the occasional glass of whiskey) and really tries to be more of a father to his daughter than he's been before. Wallander is older, more calmer and very much different than he's been in the previous films, so I don't think that Lassgård would've done as a good job as Henriksson. Also, the change of the visual output is more like the Beck films with Peter Haber, with the exception of dark city landscapes being replaced by the countryside nature of Ystad.

Wallander - Innan frosten is a well made and very entertaining thriller that keeps you interested throughout the story, although that is something you by now expect from Swedish thrillers. The cast is excellent and live up to their characters. Krister Henriksson's portrayal of Wallander is very solid, and gives high hopes for the ones yet to come. Johanna Sällström is also very reliable as Linda, who might be less experienced but even more eager than most of her colleagues. Of the supporting cast Niklas Falk ("Så som i himmelen") stands out as the leader of the religious sect. His character believes in the holy word, but seems to have a heart of darkness inside him.

Innan frosten (Before the Frost) is well worth to be seen. It's not a classic of its genre but the best of its kind at the moment.

**** 1/2 (4 1/2 out of 5)

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Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 1
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Movie
Imdb rating: 5.5
Musician: Adam Nordén
Running time: 93 min
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Last modified: 2007-07-18 22:31:3