20 October 2012: BRITTA REQUE-DRAGICEVIC
We are always being guided.
When I just happened to turn on PBS a couple years ago to find BBC’s Wallander (which I had never watched before) coming on, I had no idea that it was about to change how I write.
To say there was something refreshingly different about how this crime drama was presented is an understatement. I was riveted.
Unlike most American crime dramas, you were not assaulted by a furious pace of brutality, blood, gore, and a predictable A to B to C race to solve the investigation. The audience was given time to think and absorb the story without it ever once losing momentum. Branagh gave a poignantly engaging performance with a depth of character not often seen in TV crime dramas. The story was set amidst stunningly beautiful landscapes where nature’s tranquility sharply contrasted against the pain and gruesomeness of Wallander’s daily life.
The writers, directors, producers and actors honored not only the audiences’ intelligence, but also the character’s integrity. They told a story about a man and didn’t manipulate him for plot or convenience. What came through was authenticity. Something the human spirit always recognizes and responds to.
Three things hit home:
That afternoon proved to me that what I envisioned as a writer was possible to achieve. It inspired me to let my characters have their way, to trust them fully, even when what they want to do story-wise may prove unconventional. It reminded me, too, to always seek to elevate a story – any story – to its highest realm, to reach deeper into the human heart.
Would I have discovered these concepts if I hadn’t turned on the TV that afternoon? Maybe.
But I’ll forever be grateful to the entire creative team on BBC’s Wallander for lighting the path for me.
©2012 CREATIVE INSIDE OUTWith the kind permission of Britta Reque-Dragicevic to reprint and link to this article.