Lea Morel (Camille Razat) goes out on her 18th Birthday to La City with her friends, and in the course of the night goes missing. Even in the opening episode, her Uncle, Jean Morel (Laurent Bateau), looks dodgy when he slips her 50 euros as a birthday present, and the tension is cranked up as the clock ticks and she doesn’t return home.
Her Mother, Florence (Alex Poisson) is angry at her son , Thomas, who should have been keeping an eye on Lea. Florence withdraws into herself and seeks help from wine, pills and psychics to maintain her belief that Lea is still alive. In contrast, Lea’s father, Julien (Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval) takes a pro-active approach to finding Lea. In the process he makes a nuisance of himself by listening-in to police messages and turning up whenever they find a new clue or potential suspect.
Inspector Bertrand Molina (Francois-Xavier Demaison), has newly arrived in Lyon from Paris and has to cope with his teenage daughter Rose (Mary Luneau) as well as the shoals of red herrings that emerge during his investigation.
Nearly everyone is suspect, from the Father whose testimony about the events on the night of her disappearance is quickly found to be untrue, to her motor racing boyfriend, rich-boy Romain, then there is Nicolas, a worker at the Morel’s restaurant who seems to have been besotted by her, and Mathia Tellier, Lea’s tutor at college, and then there is a weirdo who turns up and confesses he has murdered her. Perhaps all these male suspects are all a slight-of-hand to stop us considering any women being responsible for her disappearance? The hand-wringing of the Mother might be because she did it? Lea herself is found to have a secret life that seems to have involved drug dealers and prostitutes, did they have something to do with her disappearance?
The whirling complexities of the story are compensated by the beautiful, sun-drenched setting of Lyon, a far better locality to disappear than all those grey, miserable places so beloved of the Nordic Noirs! Francois-Xavier as Inspector Molina is suitably sour-faced throughout the series, which reflects the general state of his life, whilst Alex Poisson and Pierre-Francois Martin-Lava as Lea’s parents brilliantly convey the multi-faceted emotions and torture that tears through their lives.
With so many characters, all of whom have something to hide, and the head-spinning twists in the plot, you end up thinking they should all be interrogated and locked up to preserve the peace of Lyon and might even cheer-up Inspector Molina.
The disappearance is as addictive and enigmatic as the first series of Broadchurch, so be prepared to watch all 8 episodes in one sitting.
THE DISAPPEARANCE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: CHARLOTTE BRANDSTROM /
SCREENPLAY: MARIE DESHAIRES, CATHERINE TOUZET / STARRING: CAMILLE RAZAT, ALEX POISSON, PIERRE-FRANCOIS
MARTIN-LAVAL, FRANCOIS-XAVIER DEMAISON / RELEASE
DATE: OUT NOW