Predictable crime thriller without character depth
¨Some footprints can never be erased.¨
The Hidden Child is a Swedish film directed by Per Hanefjord based on Camilla Lackberg's 2007 best selling crime novel. It is actually Lackberg's fifth novel in the series based on Erika Falck and Patrik Hedstrom's crime investigations in their native Swedish town of Fjallbacka. I have personally never read any of these novels, but the tone and style of the film reminded me a lot of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy because they both try to uncover a crime that occurred several decades ago. The story and the mystery worked well, but the major problem I had with this film had to do with the characters that had no depth to them whatsoever. Every character was simply introduced to move the story forward and even the main character had no personal trait other than that of a detective. The story was gripping and engaging, but the characters I could care less for. The Hidden Child is a decent film, but one that I wouldn't recommend.
When Erika's (Claudia Galli Concha) parents pass away after a tragic car accident, a mysterious man shows up at their home claiming to be Erika's half-brother. Erika's mother never mentioned anything about having another son, so she doesn't believe him and asks him to leave. The next day the man is found dead in his hotel room and Erika decides to investigate more about her mother's past. She discovers her journal and finds some secrets about her past. Patrik (Richard Ulfsater), Erika's husband, is a police officer who confirms the DNA results that in fact this man was Erika's half-brother. Together they begin trying to find leads as to who might have murdered this man, and Erika begins by interviewing some of her mother's old friends that she mentioned in her journal. While the investigation continues several bodies begin to pile up as everything seems to be connected to her mother's past during the Second World War. Apparently someone is trying to keep the past hidden in the dark and doesn't want Erika to uncover the past.
Claudia Galli gives a strong lead performance despite not having much to work with. She simply does her detective work without any distinct personality and gets the story moving forward in a rather fast pace. The film is told in flashbacks through the memory of the characters she interviews. The rest of the characters are all pretty much flat as well and there is nothing memorable about them. The story is gripping and engaging, but the characters are far from it. Half way through the film it becomes rather predictable as to how the mystery is going to unfold so that was a bit of letdown. The scenery in this film was quite beautiful as it was filmed almost entirely on location. This could have been a better film if the characters were given some more depth and not just introduced to move along the story.
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