DS Kurt Wallander receives a plea for help from an old friend, who suspects that the death of his father might have involved foul play. But Wallander doesn’t believe him until it’s too late. Troubled by the escalation of his relationship with Maja, Wallander walks into more trouble on the personal front, which escalates into a full-blown scandal at work. It is the last thing he needs as he tries to solve a tangle of murders related to the international organ trade. With Rolf Lassgard, Marie Richardson, Lars Melin, Christer Fant, and Kerstin Andersson.

This film was shown out of sequence with the chronological time scale of how the Wallander books were written and published which was a bit disconcerting. In The Fifth Woman which was shown first Maja is wounded to the extent that she will need months of physiotherapy and care at home after her release from hospital and she decides to return to Malmo where her ex husband will care for her as Wallander is not up to the job  but in The Man Who Smiled Maja and Wallander are on the brink of a proper relationship and being the pessimist he is he sabotages it by having sex with a stranger while he is in Malmo to give a one off lecture at the Police Academy. Overweight, with a lived in face, he falls for the charm of a very attractive woman at the bar who suggests he needs no strings attached sex to lift his ennui. The sex looks particularly unsavoury and anonymous as he grunts and collapses. Afterwards she talks about getting a shower and having time for “one more” and finally the penny drops that she is a high class prostitute expecting 4000 kroner. He throws her out, swiftly followed by her 8000 kroner shoes and sets in motion the events that lead to his personal downfall.

 

The subtitle of this film might easily have been be sure your sins will find you out because inevitably their paths cross again when he is investigating the murder of his former divorce lawyer and she is so annoyed at how he has treated her that she immediately asks to press charges and of course Maja is only too keen to take the witness statement.

 

Wallander has to juggle near death, the press investigation, the approbation of his girlfriend, the adulation of his male colleagues all  while trying to get to the bottom of a gangland-style killing which seems to lead to a very wealthy businessman who up until now has had a very good reputation for investments which benefit the human race and philanthropy. Of course Wallander’s nose for guilt is rather good and he keeps on looking for evidence even when it looks as if he might lose everything.

 

Mankel as usual asks big questions about morality and we understand why Wallander is so depressed when it seems as if some of life’s biggest sins continue to be glossed over because jobs and investments are seemingly more important than the truth.

 

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