What is it about ?
Esther Lewanski leaves the police to become a judge. However, she is worried about the disappearance of a young mother she knew: Julia Royer is suspected of having abandoned her own baby, Zoe. Convinced that Julia would never have done that, Esther decides to get involved in the investigation. But Julia remains untraceable, and the affair becomes more complicated when the discovery of a drowned young person, Charlie, whose apparent suicide turns out to be a homicide … Or Julia would have threatened Charlie just before disappearing. What secret could bind these two apparently so dissimilar girls?
Wednesday January 13 at 9:05 p.m. on France 2
Well worth a look ?
On February 27, 2019, France 2 broadcast Disappearing Disappearance, a new unit aimed at launching a new collection focused on cases of disappearances. The audience success effectively enabled the channel to decline it with a second part, entitled “Maternal instincts”, whose story and protagonists differ from the first. Of thriller inspired by the myths of Saint Nicholas worn by Sara Forestier, here we go to the detective television movie where Alix Poisson, headliner, plays Esther Lewanski, the departing police commissioner, who is worried about the disappearance of a teenager she was close to, certain that she would never have abandoned her infant daughter …
The opening scene hardly leaves the viewer time to become attached enough to Julia’s character to really care about her subsequent disappearance, but the performance of Alix Poisson as a woman of action who takes all those around her on board a investigation intended to reveal the truth is enough to win the support of the public. The intimate conviction of Esther is the real trigger for the TV movie. A conviction, moreover, more linked to her status as a mother than to her experience as an investigator. In this case, if the writing is led by Johanne Rigoulot and Catherine Hoffmann, two screenwriters experienced in the legal and police genres, it is above all their feminine gaze that is captivating.
Firstly, the screenplay gives pride of place to characters of complex women, both heroic and ordinary, whether they are commissioners (Alix Poisson, Valérie Décobert-Koretzky), prosecutor (Charlotte de Turckheim), adolescent (Marie Bernard) or mother of a bereaved family (Aude Koegler). Among all these women, we nevertheless retain the supporting role played by Rayane Bensetti, who seizes the opportunity to demonstrate the extent of his talents by taking convincing first steps in a dark and dramatic register. On the other hand, the telefilm also has the merit of granting visibility to characters on the fringes of the social “norm” (adoptive parents, precarious adolescents, transgender …) and genuinely gains in interest and emotion when dealing with themes announced in its title. What is the maternal instinct? Is it possible to be deprived of it? To mourn it? Can you be a mother at 17? What does it mean to be a good or a bad mother in the eyes of society?
A whole series of questions raised through the character of Alix Poisson, whose personal flaws are gradually being exposed. Unfortunately, the TV movie does not dwell on it enough, favoring a police investigation which tends to drag on until the end of the story… relatively sordid. We can only regret that the detective genre thus serves a rich and promising subject. However, France 2 has already announced a third episode (“A personal matter“), marking in particular the return of Sara Forestier and Pierre Rochefort to the cast and whose release is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27.