Shows based on real-life events are extremely hard to judge. You don’t have the liberty to criticize the content because the makers don’t have much control over it. However, presentation and performances are among the aspects you are free to analyze.
Why am I talking like this? Well, The Lørenskog Disappearance is a new Norwegian show streaming on Netflix that follows the real-life kidnapping of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen.
I have watched 42 Days of Darkness and, more recently, No Limit, which presented an off-screen event, although the latter was vague in terms of acceptance.
If you are planning on watching this Norwegian True Crime drama, here’s my review to help you make a wise decision.
Don’t forget to head to the FAQs section to know more about the real case that happened in Norway.
The Lørenskog Disappearance Review Summary
Shying away from the traditional approach, The Lørenskog Disappearance offers you a screenplay loaded with different perspectives. It is gripping and stimulating, but the show loses sheen toward the end because of predictability.
The Lørenskog Disappearance Synopsis
In a tragic turn of events, Anne-Elisabeth is kidnapped on the morning of October 31, 2018. Her husband informs the police and intimates them about a ransom letter left behind by the perpetrators.
Based on the real-life disappearance of Anne-Elisabeth from Oslo, The Lørenskog Disappearance depicts the facts and rumors of a case kept under the hood for ten weeks.
It is created by Nikolaj Frobenius and Stephen Uhlander, and stars Yngvild Støen Grotmol (Jorunn Lakke), Christian Rubeck (Erlend), Victoria Ose (Alex), Kidane Gjølme Dalva (Holger), among others.
What Works for The Lørenskog Disappearance?
For a true crime drama, The Lørenskog Disappearance does exceptionally well to intrigue you with its plot. As I mentioned earlier, presentation matters greatly in real-life-based shows, and this Netflix series from Norway doesn’t disappoint.
You would find the story interesting and relevant for the most part. Of course, that was to be the case since it was based on something that ripped apart the hearts of the people of Norway. However, I didn’t expect the onscreen demonstration to be this wholesome.
Mostly, the screenplay hampers the prospect of true crime dramas. Due to an already tinkered tale, the creators don’t have much to improvise and improve. In The Lørenskog Disappearance, you will witness an almost scintillating screenplay that demands your attention.
Despite The Lørenskog Disappearance being a fictional representation, it authentically deals with sensitive aspects. The shots look raw; whether the police investigation or the video interviews, you would find a touch of rawness in everything. Furthermore, the media discussions also feel natural.
The Lørenskog Disappearance is about perspectives. It shows you a crime and then demands a reaction, after which the series takes you through the different versions of alleged truths. While the police have their goals set, the media is consistently exploring multiple angles, and the general people are starting to lose faith in the system.
You will have an opinion based on the merits but wouldn’t want to accept the final results of the case. A similar thing happened in 42 Days of Darkness. What I want to emphasize is that The Lørenskog Disappearance never holds on to one idea of investigation and tries to involve multiple theories.
However, I feel the makers were restricted by the actual case files. Maybe, the police didn’t question relevant people and ignored other theories back when the crime occurred. I don’t think the team of The Lørenskog Disappearance was allowed to explore what the police didn’t, barring the personal lives of the journalists.
The show is not perfect, but it does have the quality of a true crime drama series.
Yngvild Støen Grotmol plays a cop in The Lørenskog Disappearance. As Jorunn Lakke, she does complete justice to her shackled character. The strength of her emotions works miraculously initially and assures you of an intense act. However, Grotmol’s screen presence reduces with time.
Christian Rubeck as Erlend is the show stealer of The Lørenskog Disappearance. He is sharp-witted and has a fabulous presence of mind; still, Erlend is emotionally baffled. Rubeck does everything to not let the character’s arc down. You would, at times, be angry with him and simultaneously feel a decent deal of connection at a personal level.
Victoria Ose portrays Alex in The Lørenskog Disappearance. Her journalistic demeanor keeps you involved for the most part. I initially saw her as Erlend’s sidekick, but I am glad she broke that perception with time. Victoria allows you to have more than one point of view in this tragic tale of Anne-Elisabeth’s disappearance.
What Doesn’t Work for The Lørenskog Disappearance?
The Norwegian show is stretchy, I felt. Specifically, the last two episodes felt slow and not up to the mark. Understandably, when you have a particular ending to reach, you don’t have much to play with.
Nevertheless, the makers could have invested more time planning the last two hours of The Lørenskog Disappearance. In its current form, the series feels unnecessarily stretched after a brilliant start.
The Lørenskog Disappearance explores a real-life tragedy. Hence, expecting powerful emotional scenes is not a long stretch. But the show doesn’t succeed in making a strong emotional case that leaves you stunned by the end.
42 Days of Darkness was much better in this aspect despite carrying a similar story.
Usually, we expect successful results from a show’s storyline. But what if the result is a letdown? The Lørenskog Disappearance puts forward perspectives, facts, and rumors excitingly. It is a tragic tale of the failure of the system. Give it a watch.
**THE FOLLOWING SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS.**
Is The Lørenskog Disappearance based on a true story?
Yes, The Lørenskog Disappearance is based on the real-life disappearance of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen. However, some scenes have been modified to make the story presentable onscreen.
What happened to Anne-Elisabeth Hagen?
She was allegedly kidnapped in October 2018 from her house. The kidnappers left a note demanding $10 million in Monero (cryptocurrency). Moreover, they also warned of fatal consequences if Tom Hagen (Anne’s husband) went to the police.
However, going against the warning, Tom informed the police, who, in turn, kept the case secret for almost 10 weeks to ensure the safety of Anne-Elisabeth. Meanwhile, they unsuccessfully continued a covert operation to find the missing lady.
After 18 months of search, the police arrested Tom Hagen for his involvement in Anne’s disappearance. However, they could not make a strong case against him, and the wealthy businessman was released within 11 days.
Have the police found Anne-Elisabeth Hagen?
No, Anne-Elisabeth Hagen is still missing (till 15-9-22). There’s no trace of her being dead either.
What are my thoughts on Anne’s disappearance?
On a personal note, if Tom Hagen was a billionaire, he should have simply paid the amount to safeguard his wife’s life. I understand the idea sounds crazy, but four years is a long time.