Film Review: The Absent One

You’ve got to hand it to Scandinavians, they certainly know how to create compelling crime dramas. Nordic Noir dominates the crime sections of bookshops with the likes of Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbø becoming household names. The same can be said for TV. The Bridge, The Killing, Wallander and Borgen have set the bar for viewers. They’re not quite as dominant on the big screen, but with The Absent One joins a growing list of impressive films from Northern Europe.

Department Q is in a spot of bother, with questions being raised about whether it should continue. They need a win, but when a suicide sparks Carl (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) to re-open a solved case his partner Assad (Fares Fares) despairs. The deeper they dig into the murder of twins 20 years ago the more the evidence points towards pupils of an elite school and a mysterious girl called Kimmie (Danica Curcic).

Nikola Lie Kaas and Fares Fares reprise their roles following on from the impressive The Keeper of Lost Causes for another adaptation of a Jussi Adler-Olsen book. Mikkel Nørgaard once again takes the reins with the The Absent One building and improving on the understanding and camaraderie of their previous film. As you’d expect, it’s dark, brutal and tense, tackling an unpleasant story from two distinct angles. The Absent One is another thrilling big screen outing for the Department Q novels and with more on the way it’s proving to be one of the more compelling franchises.

The Absent One is out in cinemas on Friday.

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