- Movie Name:Missing
- Critics Rating: 2 / 5
- Release Date: 06-04-2018
- Director: Mukul Abhyankar
- Genre: Thriller
Thriller is one of the most unexploited genres in Indian cinema that is preoccupied by masala entertainers. The last thriller flick which we saw in Bollywood was Vodka Diaries which failed to resonate well among the masses as well as the critics. Missing’s trailer promised a new concept in the industry where majority follow the recipe to make a film bagging the box office numbers. The star cast of the film, which included veteran actors like Tabu, Manoj Bajpayee and Annu Kapoor looked promising, however, the fantastic ensemble of actors remained lesser used in this Mukul Abhyankar directorial.
The film starts on an ordinary note with a married couple, Sushant (Manoj Bajpayee) and Aparna (Tabu) on a business trip-cum-vacation to Mauritius. They check-in a swanky Mauritian resort with their three-year-old daughter, Titli. After a steamy love-making session, they find out that their toddler is missing from their plush honeymoon suite. But everything isn’t as obvious as it seems. There are so many secrets behind the mysterious disappearance of a 3-year-old infant who was never seen by anybody in first place. Ace police officer, Buddhu (don’t go by the name, he’s witty more than any other police officer in the trade) with track record of 100%, gets bamboozled by the web of lies spun by the couple.
Missing is like just another crime patrol episode with an extended runtime of 2 hours. A child goes missing, and the entire police force is deployed to investigate her sudden disappearance. There are not one but many loopholes in the film, as many as Inspector Buddhu found in Titli’s missing case. The over-glorification of the investigating officer Buddhu during his introductory scene was totally unexpected and failed to impress the audience. The way his subordinates said, “Sir body bilkul wahin pe mili jahan pe aapne guess kiya tha,” was like a tagline for an advertisement endorsing a private detective. First of all, if he was that a champion in his profession, why did he let so many clues slip away from right under his nose? Annu Kapoor learnt French to ace his role as a Mauritian police officer in Missing, but still he managed to be as unconvincing as he did in the movie.
When you see a star of such acting finesse as Manoj Bajpayee, you expect wonders to happen. But this didn’t happen in Missing whenever Bajpayee opened his mouth to utter another sleazy dialogue. He has played the role of a philandering husband who never lets go of an opportunity to sleep with a random woman. He throws random pickup lines even on the hotel receptionist, indirectly inviting her to his room at the night. Manoj Bajpayee tries too hard to fit in as a flirtatious 40-something-man, but fails to convince us. Every now and then, we see the actor slipping out of character and then trying to jump back into the form.
Tabu was the only saving grace of this entire film with too many loose ends. She is as pitiable in the film as a mother whose daughter went missing, should be. She convinces the audience that she’s a loving mother and a wife, whose life was thrown into a tizzy after her toddler’s disappearance. Tabu was the only factor who imparted the emotional overtones to the film that barely had any. One can easily sympathise with Aparna, who wants nothing but the well-being of her daughter.
There are more than one instance where Missing failed to hit the bull’s eye. Just to make the film an edge-of-the-seat thriller, redundant twists and turns were added to the story. A suspicious-looking man, eyeing on Titli, a lying Manoj Bajpayee dubbing his wife Aparna as a mentally deranged woman and many more; were these even needed?
The climax of the film was predicted way before it happened. In fact, right after watching the trailer, one could predict there isn’t any ‘Titli’ at first place. Then how can somebody, who doesn’t exist’ can go missing? The end seemed like a tourist taking a twisted and secluded road to the destination, which could’ve been otherwise reached by a simple straight path. Why? Just to make it more confusing, thrilling and enigmatic. However, making it more complex than required was the weakest point of the film.
All in all, watch the film for Tabu’s fine performance, otherwise a film where imagination, logic and gumption is ‘missing’, isn’t worth giving a shot for.