When Pato goes missing during the Good Friday performance of The Passion of the Christ, it is up to two members of law enforcement to put aside their differences in order to find him. The more they investigate, the stranger and more complicated the case becomes.
The Vanishing of Pato is based on Andrea Camilleri’s novel of the same name. The film is set in 1890 and, like any good mystery, the story focuses on the investigation into a missing person. The squabbling and eventual co-operation between the men charged with finding out what happens leads to much of the humour in the film, and there are some incredibly odd moments involving Pato’s wife and her collection of dolls.
The tone of the film is light, but it stumbles in places as it tries to find it’s footing. The fantastic investigation and deduction sequences are set against dry recounts of Pato’s final days in the village. The running time does the film no justice as the story feels drawn out and thin. That said, the scenes in which the police officers walk through events of the past are a delight to watch, and the audience reaches conclusions at the same time as the characters.
The Vanishing of Pato is a good mystery that is let down by a drawn out script, by the time the big revelation comes around, the audience may have checked out to a degree, but the movie’s ending is enough to draw us back in.