‘Missing’: Cast & Crew
Director: Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick
Cast: Storm Reid, Ava Zaria Lee, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Megan Suri, Tim Griffin, Daniel Henney, Nia Long, Michael Segovia, Lauren B. Mosley, Tracy Vilar, Sean O'Bryan
Available On: BookMyShow Stream, Netflix
Duration: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
After her mother goes missing, a young woman tries to find her from home, using tools available to her online. Will she be able to find her mother? Is she even her mother? Or are there some deep dark skeletons hidden in the cupboards? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch the film.
Storm Reid, even though carries the entire weight of the story on her shoulders, doesn’t have the same level of intensity that ‘Searching’s John Cho had as the lead character. Reid’s performance is rather dull. She doesn’t manage to bring in that sense of urgency, that sense of fear, that sense of loss that well onscreen.
Nia Long as the mother is perfectly suited for the role. She brings fierce energy to the character and gives it relatability. The subtle emotional and facial changes that she does when she brings to light that she is not that tech-savvy, make you feel attached to the character more as every pre-millennium parent faces these technology issues.
Joaquim de Almeida is a perfect casting in terms of the accent, the body language and the feel of the character. However, for an actor of his stature, who has been in blockbuster films like ‘Fast Five’, this role seems just like a waste of his potential. He has played the part, even though small, with utmost sincerity.
‘Missing’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Will Merrick and Nick Johnson’s writing and direction are the two biggest assets for the film. The writing is so laden with twists and turns that you’re left guessing at every turn as to what’s going to happen next. Until the climax comes, you can’t predict at all what’s going to happen in the next scene. However, they could have carried that feel ahead in the climax also, but sadly, the climax becomes predictable and with every move, there is something that you would have seen before.
Coming to their direction capabilities, they have a masterpiece at hand. For the past 100+ years, films are being made and there hardly comes a film once in probably a decade or two which changes the way of filmmaking entirely. ‘Searching’ and now ‘Missing’ is a part of that game-changing phenomenon. We’ve always seen movies where the characters are moving around and the camera follows them throughout. Here it’s the opposite where the camera is still and fixed on a computer screen, at least 80 per cent of the movie, and all the characters are going in and around that and portraying their characters and thereby taking the story ahead. That’s a brave choice to make for first-time directors. They could have easily made this film in a normal way with some minor changes and it would have yet been this thrilling. However, they decided to have a screenlife film and did exceedingly well to keep the audiences on tenterhooks till the climax – that needs to be applauded. The way they’ve managed to bring in the suspense and maintain it on a complete high till the climax is what makes you fall for this film.
Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty’s basic story is rather predictable. However, Merrick and Johnson have transformed that into a workable screenplay is what makes ‘Missing’ a gripping watch.
You can’t have a great screenlife film if you don’t have an able support of an extremely capable cinematographer. Steven Holleran has done brilliantly behind the camera. Even though the entire film seems to have been shown through the eyes of the laptop camera, it was actually shot with a normal camera. To be able to get that effect is a tough task, and Holleran has done exceptionally well.
Austin Keeling and Arielle Zakowski’s editing is crisp and keeps you on the edge of your seats throughout.
Julian Scherle’s music and background score is disappointing. That’s probably the weakest link in ‘Missing’. With good music and background score, a thriller like ‘Missing’ could have been transformed into something totally different. The experience would have been way more enjoyable. A great BGM could have made audiences feel like they’re right there in the middle of all that’s happening. However, that aspect was missing in Scherle’s music.
‘Missing’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Missing’ is thrilling till the climax comes. There is no doubt that you’ll be hooked on to this film till the very end. Even though it’s not as good as its predecessor ‘Searching’, it’s still going to keep you engaged with its twists and turns. If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is definitely a great One Time Watch. I am going with 3.5 stars.