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Rotten Bannas, Missing 

Himika Akram reporter 

When I finished watching the movie ‘Missing’, it was a screaming reminder of the movie named ‘Searching’ for me, which was released in 2018. I think it would not be unfair to call this movie a sequel to ‘Searching.’ Both are based on techno-gimmicks; the director-duo of this movie, Will Merrick and Nick Johnson be the editors in ‘Searching.’ The biggest difference was, in ‘Searching,’ the father was looking for his missing daughter, in ‘Missing,’ the daughter is looking for her missing mom.  

The protagonist in this movie is a girl named June, who lives with her mom; a Gen Zer, who does not bond well with her mom. Her mom Grace, a single parent; despite her unwillingness to leave her daughter alone at home, goes for a trip with her boyfriend Kevin, to Cartagena, Columbia. June was happy to get her unsupervised time and started Googling ‘how to throw a rager’ and even arranges one. 

But then, apparently Kevin and Grace are never seen in the airport. According to the hotel both of them left and they did not even take their bags. After that, June takes charge of finding her mom. That is when all the cyber-gimmick starts. The young, ultra-smart kid who voice activated her devices at home, lives in the world of webcams, who knows how to crack passwords of the adults who are not aware of their device security. With the help of a South American man Javi, who eventually gelled with June really well, and who makes June realize how selfless parent’s love is; finally found her both her mom and her boyfriend have been kidnapped. 

The pace of this movie and till the middle part, the thrill was nail-biting. Then the movie seemed to be a bit too gimmicky to me. It lost connection with the real world. It is understandable that June is a smart kid, but making her command over technology and the cyber space look like that of a KGB spy was a little bit overboard. The spiral climax the story was building up became monotonous from there and it seemed more like an advertisement of modern-day apps and tools to me. Nevertheless, ‘Missing’ will not make you feel bored at all.  

But in comparison to ‘Searching,’ this movie is certainly one step ahead in terms of the abundance of tools and resources to do the tracking. Hence it was fun to watch. But in the course of overfocusing those gimmicks, the story lost touch with the day-to-day life of ordinary people. After building so much climax, in the middle part the movie became predictable for the audience. It showed the vulnerability the lack of device security can expose you to, at the same time the power of the digital world which can do wonders, if handled correctly. 

Acting-wise Storm Reid did a splendid job. It was no doubt, her movie. She literally carried the movie on her shoulder. Another character, who did not receive much screen space, but I personally felt it still managed to shine through, was Javi. Joaquim de Almeida did a commendable job in that role.  

The movie has been rated as a PG-13 because of using some foul language, showing teen drinking and some violence. It was released on Jan. 20, 2023, in theatres. My personal rating of this movie would be 7/10. 

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