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The Absent One (2014)

Fasandræberne (original title)
The murder of young twins initially implicates a group of upper class students as the killers, though the case takes a turn or two from its starting point.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ditlev Pram
Ulrik Dybbøl
Kimmie som ung
Johanne Louise Schmidt ...
Ditlev som ung
Michael Brostrup ...
Børge Bak
Morten Kirkskov ...
Lars Bjørn
Philip Stilling ...
Ulrik som ung
Bjarne som ung


Rugged and irritable Carl Morck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and his colleague, the Syria-born Assad, run the cold-case division of the Copenhagen police. After a desperate appeal to Morck about the unsolved killing of his own teenage children, an ex-cop commits suicide. This leads the detective pair on a twisted mission to discover what really happened in the 1990s at one of the country's poshest boarding schools. Director Mikkel Norgaard reunites with lead stars Kaas and Fares to portray this taut fiction which again alternates deftly between the past and present.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

17 June 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Absentul  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€5,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, who plays the younger Kimmie in the "20 years ago" sections, is actually only five years younger than Danica Curcic, who plays Kimmie as an adult. See more »


Followed by A Conspiracy of Faith (2016) See more »


Friagram (Turbo Edit)
Written by Ion/E/Wood
Performed by Psychopod
(C) T.I.P. Records
(P) Courtesy Of T.I.P. Records
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User Reviews

Something's rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark
7 December 2014 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

The second feature film with cinema release for the Jussi Adler- Olsen novels following "The keeper of lost causes" (originally "Kvinden i buret") is a let down from the first in many ways. The title "The absent one" is again more suitable than the original title Fasandræberne (which is translated Killers of pheasants).

Both the director and the main characters are still there, and the plot is interesting enough, maybe even more interesting in the first film. Still I'm afraid. Still this is bargaining to follow up the "nordic noir" label, which is does quite well. This is the gloomy side of Denmark, or Copenhagen, which is never mentioned anywhere in the film. And there's no landmarks of the Danish capitol visible here, either. Indeep if they are trying to depict Copenhagen. Well, never mind.

The plot: A drunk, later revealed former police chief approaching detective Carl Mørck, not very interested, until the day after when the same man is found after suicide in his bathtub. He starts following the strange case of the mans two teenage children is killed 20 years ago, very close to a posh boarding school for the rich. No more should be revealed here now.

The film manages to get you interested, and is neatly done, like the first which I gave a 7/10 on IMDb. This however grows stale before the first hour has went away. The plot is simply too implausible, at least as shown on the film, implying top connections to most top sides of the Danish society. Many of these threads are not followed up.

The Scandinavian title is also very misleading, hence there's hardly any sign of, and surely no mention of pheasants here. OK, we understand that this is case in the novel, and that they are rich hunters. But still this is way off.

The main character is also not at all helpless, and this annoys you so much in the end, that it ruins the film for me. I guess the novel treats this way better and more plausible, but here is just too far fetched, even for a film with a two hour run.

When it comes to acting, they are all doing a great job, as always in Danish film. That the script here is lacking is a pity, but maybe it was too far much to put into a movie. I guess many scenes ended up on the cutting floor. I admire Nicolaj Arcel for his script writing, but this is far from his best work.

A good start for this "cold-case dramatization) with the first film, is pointing down already. Too bad. Or is it possible to hope for a recovering, if there's a third?

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