Inspector Nick Cafmeyer seems to have it all - looks, brains and a successful career. But a dark cloud hangs over his life: since the age of nine, he has been haunted by the unsolved ... See full summary »
Geert Van Rampelberg,
Johan van Assche
Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of ... See full summary »
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
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.
You know most days I wake up, wondering if I should get up or not or if I should pop a whole bunch of pills and be done with it. You know what stops me? That people need my help... people need me like you!
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Last week, a populist, right-wing anti-immigration party won the general elections in Denmark. There's a small hint of the increasing Danish aversion against immigrants in 'The Absent One': when a pr-executive is beaten up by two businessmen, the newspapers' headlines state that he is beaten up by immigrants.
I would have liked more of this in the film. As it is now, 'The Absent One' is a standard crime thriller. There are hardly any connections to the broader society: the script focuses on the crime and nothing else.
At the same time, the excellent script is really the backbone of the movie. It's intelligent, and slowly moves forward with just enough revelations to keep the suspense intact, without the complications or twists that make many crime scripts hard to follow. Also nice are the regular flashbacks to the period of the crime, which is now a cold case, getting renewed attention because of the suicide of a retired policeman.
The problem is that the film doesn't have anything that makes it stand out. It's a good, solid thriller, but nothing more than that. It even inclines to overdoing things, which is a shame in a film like this. The ending, with the policemen miraculously saved from a seemingly hopeless situation, is a cliché. The same goes for the state of mind of the lead character: a workaholic policeman, who has too little attention for his son and has no problem bending the rules in order to get the villains.
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