Sunday, May 26, 2024

Search the thrill in what is ‘Missing’

 

Released recently in 2023, Missing is an American screen life thriller film written and directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson. The film serves as the duo’s debut feature as directors. Screen life film is a new genre for us- a genre of visual storytelling where all the events are shown on a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. Missing is a standalone sequel to the 2018 movie Searching, though there is not much similarity between the two movies except the basic concept of the search for a character who has gone missing. The plot of the movie Missing revolves around June Allen, an 18-year-old teenager who tries to find her missing mother after she disappears on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, Kevin. June does this in ways of extreme intelligence, through bundles of screens – laptops, cell phones, surveillance footage, Google Maps, Facebook messages, chat history, other social media platforms, and all.

With each new password June cracks with a nearly perfect guess, each new website she visits, and each new email she reads, more and more questions are raised, accompanied by a number of twists. Missing characters make us question the characters again and again. You keep on guessing what’s really going on, and as June’s mother’s news of her disappearance receives national attention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) gets involved in the search. The humanitarian approach of Javier, a Colombian gig worker who works for June for a small fee, is beautiful. The complex techniques of hacking accounts and reading others’ chats and the capability of linking every single and minute detail one by one by a smart teenage girl are quite interesting. June’s mixed expression of doubt, fear, pain, confusion, and simultaneous smart investigation is worth applauding.

The thriller movie is highly relatable to us simply because the characters on screen are relatable in our everyday lives and as vulnerable as we are. We live our lives online for a major portion of the 24 hours and thus expose ourselves to the apps that keep tracking our every move. In the world of the World Wide Web, it can be said that there is no such thing called as ‘privacy’. It is possible that a hacker is sitting somewhere, hearing everything we say, and even watching what we do. Through June, the makers of the film directly show us how there is simply nothing that one cannot find online, especially if they know some basic and relevant details from the target’s life. They just have to know where to click and what to type. The story remains focused on June’s determined commitment to find her mother entirely through her digital expertise. The story manages to keep the audience attached to the screen with the help of some shocking and unpredictable twists and turns. It manages to show us how, with a good story and good emotion, this new genre has the potential to give us a perfect edge-of-the-seat experience.   

Rating- 7 out of 10

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