Léa Morel (Camille Razat) is a vivacious and beautiful girl who is beloved by her friends and family. On her 17th birthday, she attends the World Music Festival with her best friend and cousin, Chris (Zoe Marchal) and never makes it back home. As her family, friends, and the police race to find her, many more mysteries begin to unfold.
Heading up the investigation is Bertrand Molina (François-Xavier Demaison), recently relocated to Lyon (where the mystery takes place), and his new partner, Camille Guérin (Alice Pol). They first suspect that Léa might be out with friends or have simply taken off, but as they begin to question those closest to her, they uncover not only a life that the teen had been hiding from her family, but also plenty of other secrets in the lives of the other family members. To complicate matters, Molina not only has to get accustomed to his new position in a new city with a prominent case hanging over his head, but his ex-wife has dropped off rebellious teen daughter Rose (Myra Tyliann) to live with him and he is not big on emotions, much less child-rearing. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say.
Léa's mother, Flo (Alix Poisson), and father, Julien (Pierre-François Martin-Laval), are devastated, but also have their other children, older brother Thomas (Maxime Taffanel) and younger sister, Zoe (Stella Trotonda) to consider. Flo is struggling the most, since Thomas was responsible for making sure Léa got home safely, but Thomas has his own secrets. The extended family, Julien's brother Jean (Laurent Bateau), and his daughter Chris are also crushed by the events and are doing what they can to keep the family restaurant afloat during this family crisis.
As the days march forward with still no sign of Léa, the family begins to lose hope, while the police find themselves pulled in different directions, whether it is investigating the new information that reveals itself by further investigating the family or false clues that come their way. By the time the final episode plays out, the mystery is concluded and everything is revealed, but not before the audience, along with the Morel family, is put through the wringer.
While The Disappearance is a good mystery/drama, it felt a bit drawn out, almost as if the full 8 episodes just weren't needed. Yes, it was a slow burn and lots of character and story development occurred, but I feel some of it was unnecessary. The acting was excellent across the board and I have to give special kudos to Alix Poisson as she truly brings about some heart-wrenching moments in the show. She is incredibly believable in her role, although the entire cast is excellent. I also enjoyed the interplay between Molina and Guérin, and although Molina is all business, you can see he starts to let down his walls, especially where Guérin and his daughter Rose are concerned.
The only special feature is a Photo Gallery and do be aware that the film is in French with English subtitles, so this is not something you put on casually, unless you speak fluent French. Bat an eye at the wrong time and you could miss something integral.
If you like a good drama with an air of mystery, you may enjoy The Disappearance. The investment is steep at 8 episodes clocking in at almost an hour each, all in French, and I must admit that I found myself guessing the series of events that lead to the conclusion of the series long before they happened, but it's still a good show with excellent acting and good production value.