Director: Mikkel Nørgaard.
Starring: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Pilou Asbæk. Denmark/Germany/Sweden 2015. 120 mins. Danish with English subtitles.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Killing, The Bridge, Follow The Money, Headhunters, The Code, The Treatment, Marcella. Interest in the Nordic noir genre in film, television and books is stronger than ever today – and crime and thriller fans around the world are pretty pleased about that. Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø and Jussi Adler-Olsen are some of the authors of the most popular crime novels in recent history, many of which have been made into films.
The Absent One, based on the second novel from Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series, is “a diverting potboiler for crime drama completists” (The Guardian) and the follow-up to 2013’s The Keeper Of Lost Causes. There are so many different elements to The Absent One that make it such an irresistible watch on the big screen. One doesn’t necessarily have to have seen The Keeper Of Lost Causes to watch the second in the series. All you need to know is that detectives Carl (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and Assad (Fares Fares) have been partnered together. They run Department Q, a cold-case unit relegated to the basement of their police HQ. After successfully solving the department’s first case, it is now time for them to work on a second.
A double murder from 1994 ends up on Carl’s desk: twins were found dead in an old cottage. A number of clues point in the direction of young, upper-class students from a nearby boarding school, but a local outsider pleaded guilty at the time and was convicted. When Carl takes a look at the case file, he notices that there was something very wrong with the investigation. Quickly Department Q is plunged into an intense search for a girl, Jimmie, who holds the secret to these murders.
The Absent One is fast-paced with twists around every corner; it’s full of scandal and kept me guessing until the very end. It’s the perfect film to get the heart pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat.
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