Posted Apr 15 2016

The Absent One - This Movie Scandi Noir Rocks

Dir: Mikkel Norgaard

Starring Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Pilou Asbaek, Danica Curcic

The further adventure of “the drunk and the Arab” as previously featured in that nice slice of Nordic darkness, The Keeper Of Lost Causes. The very definition of the clichéd hard bitten, hard drinking maverick cop that is Lie Kaas’s Carl Morck is once again stuck in the basement of unsolved cases with Fares’ younger and more understanding Syrian-born Assad, becoming obsessed with a cold case that turns into a conspiracy, this time involving the murder of teen twins at a very influential boarding school that may well have permeated the upper echelons of Danish society.

Deftly blending the past with the present –with some notably beguiling performances from the young cast in the flashback sections – and a strong turn from Curcic as the modern day “victim” of the past, Norgaard’s film is an effective piece of Scandi-noir. If we weren’t so used to seeing this material played out in ten part TV dramas over recent years, then this would probably impress more.

But it has two compelling performances in its mismatched leads (especially Lie Kaas, who always manages to stay just one step ahead of cliché), who have a genuine, involving chemistry, and we would happily sign on for a third, equally bleak outing.


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