🇳🇴 THE LØRENSKOG DISAPPEARANCE 🇳🇴
The Lørenskog Disappearance (2022) is a Netflix Norwegian miniseries dramatisation of a real case. 5 x 50-52 minute episodes. In Norwegian with English subtitles and dubbing available. Rated 15 in the U.K.
Cast (as per Netflix):
Yngvild Støen Grotmol
Kidane Gjølme Dalva
Glenn André Kaada
Roar Kjølv Jenssen
Creators: Nikolaj Frobenius, Stephen Uhlander
Writer: Fredrik Horn Akselsen
Director: Fredrik Horn Akselsen
Cinematographer: Sven-Erling Brusletto
Editor: Merete Kvamme
Key Art: Vidar Tevasvold Aune
Producer: Trond Winterkhær
Unusually there is no full cast list available at this time on IMDb or elsewhere.
The IMDb listing gives 6 episodes but there are only 5 on Netflix (a fact that has caused issues amongst viewers).
Here’s an interesting read for those who want to know more before, or after, watching:
⚠️ This review may contain spoilers ⚠️
It is perhaps somewhat ironic that a show about a disappearance itself appeared almost by stealth on Netflix last week: no fanfare, no subtitled or dubbed trailer, in fact, no real promotion at all. I knew it was arriving only because I had checked online sources to write a Facebook post about what was arriving on our TVs this month. Settling down to watch this 6-episode, by which I mean, 5-episode because IMDb is probably wrong (whatever happened to production companies checking their listings?) what did I make of it?
Now, this show is about an event and its investigation and effects which is VERY recent with those affected still alive so, bearing that in mind, I also pondered how much consent was sought before this was made.
The Lørenskog Disappearance comes sprinting over the start line like a Norwegian Olympic cross country skier, with an immediately engaging and exciting scene. “What a great start!” I thought to myself, rapidly followed by the earnest wish that they could maintain this and then “stick the landing” in the finale.
I have to say that after that explosive start the rest of this series is not in the least explosive, but that’s alright in itself. It is very much a character-driven drama that takes its own sweet time to unfold.
I liked the way that the series is divided into the case, the police, the journalists and the witnesses. It makes sense to control the story that way. I also appreciated the character development and the way different avenues and red herrings were explored. It was also interesting to see, once again, sadly, how missteps at the start of an investigation can have serious repercussions and how different police theories are explored (or discarded).
Also interesting is how the role of the press was shown. I think I would have preferred to not see the way the main journalist deteriorated before the deterioration unfolded (though I can also see why dramatically that was chosen).
I thought all the performances in this were very solid, I particularly liked the way the journalist and the criminal witness were played; both were very convincing.
I also liked the direction, cinematography and use of sound and music.
There were a few parts which were emotionally affecting, more though parts that made me quite cross with frustration at how the case was being handled. Bearing in mind the context I’m surprised that it didn’t hit me in the feelings as much as I think it could and should have.
Hand on heart though, I’m not sure this really needed 5 episodes as parts were repetitive and it did drag in places.
Unlike, by way of example, the Chilean miniseries 42 Days of Darkness, The Lørenskog Disappearance fails to achieve an obvious “end”. Yes, Norwegians will know this case is unsolved but this show is not just for Norwegians (assuming knowledge is not a good move here). But stories (even true/ish ones) do need either a clear end or something that is obviously and deliberately open-ended. It is, therefore, very unfortunate that at the end, instead of an impactful conclusion (remember that terrific blast of a start I mentioned?) we get a damp squib fizzle. “Is that the end? Is there nothing else? Are there any post-credit captions? What a funny way to end a miniseries,” — at least that’s exactly what I was thinking. This is a great shame because there’s much to like about this slow-burn character study but in the end, it left me underwhelmed. Not only underwhelmed but not nearly as angry, perhaps, as I should have been. I have a suspicion that the comment made in anger by the (male) journalist about how many women are murdered and yet how few prosecutions take place, would have been more effective placed at, or very near to, the very end.
My conclusion on The Lørenskog Disappearance is that this show fails to fulfil its potential. I don’t feel that watching it was a waste of my time but I just cannot see it leaving any lasting impression on me.
Trailer (only dubbed available):
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