Missing makes for an engaging thriller-suspense which is carried forward brilliantly by the actors so that there is not a boring moment in the more than two hour long film.
The film starts with Aparna, played by Tabu, going on a trip to Mauritius with daughter Titli and Sushant, played by Manoj Bajpaye.
They check into a picturesque beach resort on the island only to wake up the next morning to three-year-old Titli missing.
Both Aparna and Dubey start looking for the little girl but Dubey seems reluctant in seeking police help.
When they cannot find Titli, Aparna goes to the police without telling Dubey which clears way for the entry of Mauritius’ famous investigating officer, Ramkhilawan Buddu played by Annu Kapoor, with his two-member team.
Buddu has an impeccable record and is considered an ace officer.
The story speeds up when the director casts Dubey as a flirty and suspicious character and when Buddu suspects that it is not a case of normal abduction.
The film revolves around these three characters, and the actors have done a wonderful job of never letting the film get boring. Dubey’s cool and calm response to Titli’s abduction makes the audience suspicious of him and Bajpaye delivers a performance expected of an actor of his stature.
Tabbu plays a panicky mother beautifully and adds balance to the otherwise messy proceedings.
Annu Kapoor as the investigating officer was the more disappointing of the three. The director could have made his role more significant, since the story is that of an abduction. Kapoor’s gait, body
language and expressions do not go with that of a famous police officer with an impeccable record.
He overacts and takes from the film when his character uses French words in a flamboyant manner and then translates them in Hindi.
The story is made clear in the first five minutes of the film but the two characters played by Tabu and Bajpaye hold the film together for the rest of the two hours.
The movie also has breathtaking scenes of Mauritius which make up for the lack of music in the film, apart from the lullaby Aparna sings to her daughter at the beginning.
The film Missing marks the directorial debut of Mukul Abhyankar and makes for a flawed but entertaining movie.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2018