A Conspiracy of Faith

The third installment of the Department Q movies, it immediately launches into the case at hand as a bottle washes up on shore with a note dating from six years ago. Since it is an unknown case, it was sent to Department Q, a police branch that handles unsolved cases. This leads Detectives Carl Morck and Assad on a manhunt whom has been kidnapping children from religious sects, with two children falling privy to his hands.

Unlike usual murder mystery films, this does not dwell on the whudunit trope; we are introduced to the man behind the kidnapping, and the rest of the film ensues in a mad chase in order to recover the children from his grasps. The movie adapts creative changes, adding a lot more cast members, and going straight to the point. 

A positive of this adaptation is that it has improved cinematography compared to its predecessors, but the movie suffers due to the lack of content injected into it. The way it was scripted was patchy; it could have done with a bit more fleshing out. The antagonist was a lot more mysterious in the books, thus making the chase a bit of a bore despite the thrilling aspect to it. The faith factor of the tale doesn’t weigh a lot in the adaptation, although the characters try to interject some thought of it to the movie. 

What I am enjoying with the adaptation is the characterization of Assad. While MORCK plays the lead character of the story, it was Fares Fares who stood out. The movies don’t adapt the book character’s eccentricities and mysterious back story, but I liked how they characterized Assad here. 

I’m disappointed with this installment, even if it had plenty of thrilling scenes, and a lot more people involved. The content of the story wasn’t enough; if they were already taking liberties, why not add more interesting bits to it? It’s very straightforward, which means disregarding the brooding dark nature that has been present in the narration of the novel. 

Original Title: Flaskepost fra P
Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Pål Sverre Hagen
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Year: 2016

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