The Disappearance (Disparue) is a French crime drama that ran on BBC Four in the UK and is being released by Arrow Films under their Nordic Noir & Beyond imprint. The series treads familiar territory over the course of its eight episodes for anyone familiar with such series as The Killing or even Twin Peaks. The central mystery surrounds the disappearance of a young, popular, and attractive teenage girl, Léa (Camille Razat). She never returns home after attending Lyon’s Music Festival and her parents Julien (Pierre-François Martin-Laval) and Florence (Alix Poisson) find themselves in a nightmare. Meanwhile, it falls on lead investigator Molina (François-Xavier Demaison) to untangle the increasing web of suspicion growing around the people who knew Léa, including her father Julien, her boyfriend, and her driving instructor. Julien is not content to sit around and do nothing either and he launches his own parallel investigation to find who may have taken Léa.
Disparue does not necessarily achieve the same sort of grim atmosphere that many of the true “Nordic Noir” series do, per se, but where the strengths of the series lie are in keeping the viewer off-balance by throwing suspicion everywhere. In fact, it probably isn’t until the last two episodes that a clear idea of who the real culprit may be comes into focus. Still, while Disparue may not be a wholly original effort, it is a slow-burning crime drama that has a style all its own and it manages to keep one glued to the television over each episode with its acting and twists.
The Disappearance is provided in an AVC 1080i/50 encodement on Blu-ray from Arrow. The picture is crisp and free from motion artifacts. It provides a lifelike image with natural looking color reproduction and strong contrast.
The audio track is a basic French LPCM 2.0 stereo mix with English subtitles included. The sound is good, but the stereo imaging and dynamics are just a little “tight.” Dialogue is clear enough, free from any sort of clipping.
Disappointingly barebones release with not a single extra included.
The Final Assessment
A well crafted Euro-noir, The Disappearance has an intelligent central mystery and well thought out story arc that, although not based on an original premise, still satisfies in the end. The Blu-ray release from Arrow Films’ Nordic Noir & Beyond is solid on picture, okay on sound, but disappoints with no extras whatsoever.
Be the first to leave a review.