Denmark | Germany | Sweden | Norway 2016
Openings June 2, 2016
Directed by: Hans Petter Moland
Writing credits: Nikolaj Arcel
Principal actors: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Jakob Oftebro, Pal Sverre Hagen
Someone notifies the police station in Viborg, Denmark, that siblings Magdalena and Samuel were seen getting into a strange car on their way from school. Detectives Carl Mørck and Assad make a routine check with the parents Elias and Rakel, who say that the kids are visiting their aunt in Sweden. Still, Rakel seems terribly upset for some reason. The parents seem to put their faith more in God than in the police. Back at the station, Carl and Assad review back cases, including an identical one in 2008, where the parents also denied any disappearance; they committed suicide a bit later. Both families belonged to a strict religious sect. Other cases turn up and, strangely, all happened during some church holiday. If there is a connection, then obviously a long-term repeat offender has the kids and time is running short. While Mørck andAssad desperately try piece the puzzle together, their assistant, detective Rose, is working on the discovery of a message in a bottle which washed up on shore, after having been in the water for probably more than seven years. She deducts that it was written in blood by a child and signed “P.” Where did it come from?
Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen has written several crime fiction novels; this is the third one to be filmed. The first were Mercy, then Disgrace, and now Redemption (and all were published under completely different English titles in the United States). The film versions of Mercy and Disgrace were well directed by Mikkel Nørgaard. For this third novel, Hans Petter Moland directed and this is the best one so far (although the script for all three was by Nikolaj Arcel). Suspense is high throughout. It is interspersed by personal interaction between Mørck andAssad, often funny or sarcastic, which is quite necessary in a tense story over 112 minutes. Pål Sverre Hagen is terribly good looking as Johannes, the young missionary who visits the families. The Danish landscape is beautiful, a contrast to the horrors. Adler-Olsen definitely deserves our attention and perhaps there will soon be another film based on his books. ( )