Underbelly: Vanishing Act review

Underbelly: Vanishing Act review

Please note this is a review of Underbelly: Vanishing Act not a comment or critique on the case it surrounds

On Sunday Nine revives one of its biggest franchises in Underbelly.

The two part drama focuses on a story that has gripped Sydney- the disappearance of Melissa Caddick (Kate Atkinson) whose foot was found on a beach in late 2020.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go right back to the beginning. Melissa is a wife to DJ Anthony Koletti (Jerome Velinsky), daughter to Barbara (Anne Tenney) and Ted (Frankie J Holden) and mother to Josh (Otis Dhanji). The series introduces us to her life in 2019, a year prior to the grim discovery, when Melissa is a finance guru at her own boutique Investment Company, owns a harbour-side mansion, expensive cars and designer clothes.

She has a fiercely loyal clientele who trust her to invest their money, including childhood friend Angie (Maya Stange), a hardworking nurse who trusts Melissa to invest her cash offering high returns. As Melissa builds her clientele to include Angie’s nephew Nash (Dylan Hare), a hardworking young man with kids, and Wendy (Sophie Bloom), it’s established that not everything is as clear cut as it appears.

As she struggles to keep the scheme going, she finds herself in the path of the dangerous George (Colin Friels) and her actions catch the attention of the Australian investments and Securities commission investigator Vincent (Tai Hara) and Team Leader Pheobe (Ursula Mills).

Screenwriter Matt Ford uses a mix of truth and fiction to tell a fascinating tale that grips from the opening minutes and doesn’t let up until the credits roll.

Kate Atkinson demands the screen as the story unfolds, being warm and loving to those close to her but also able to bring the emotion where the story requires. It’s nice to see Anne Tenney and Frankie J Holden on screen again, hopefully, there’s more to come in part 2.

My one criticism is that the real life legal case hasn’t concluded yet, so it may be a little hard to provide an appropriate ending to a case where the mystery still remains.

Engrossing and full of captivating performances this latest instalment in the Underbelly franchise is worth checking out

4 stars

Underbelly: Vanishing Act premieres Sunday April 3 on Nine and concludes Monday April 4