Movie Review: ‘MISSING CHILD’ (2015)
‘Missing Child’ is a incredibly small scaled, but equally riveting film about the search for redemption on many fronts. A woman’s determination to seek out her past, collides with a man’s guilt at his own, resulting in a night where each of their survival comes into question. From writer and director Luke Sabis, ‘Missing Child’ is definitely worth a watch.
★★★ (out of 5)
The film is all about Gia, (Kristen Ruhlin) a young girl looking to do more with her future, while her past still haunts her. Applying to university and working retail, Gia lives a very quiet life with her boyfriend, while her only friend seems to be the owner of the shop she works at, and her little boy. However, there is something that deeply troubles her. Ruhlin is great in this role, as there are a lot of quiet moments that need to be conveyed, and Ruhlin knocks it out of the park. She gives life to Gia, not only as a character, but as a tortured soul with a lot more going on than we as the audience are privvy to. Her character is the movie, as a lot of the forward plot movement, and insight into who Gia is, happens though Ruhlin’s restraint performance. It conveys a lot more in silence, than with any dialogue. This can also be credited to writer / director Luke Sabis, as a lot of the story plays out similarly.
‘Missing Child’ has a lot of emotional depth, given that a sub plot of the story runs in the background. It provides motivation for Gia’s character without actually spelling things out or feeling the need to resolve those plot points, given that much of it can already be seen in the person that Gia is. It’s a bold move for Sabis to never actually point out a crucial moment in the character’s life, but let the implied event play through the story, never being referenced or brought up.
The story sees an unexpected incident that may lead Gia to answers about her past, but instead, she’s in for a rough night. Sabis pulls multiple duties not only as writer and director, but also as Gia’s boyfriend, Joe. Joe is an interesting character in the film, not only for his part in the story, but also the way Sabis plays him. Joe comes off as a very aloof character, seemingly a Bondsman or bounty hunter possibly. Gia’s relationship with him further speaks to her past, without it being cliche’d or tacky.
Sabis’ Joe also acts as the catalyst that propels the story forward, and gives it urgency. The story itself is multi layered. As much as it is about Gia’s finding out where she’s from, it’s also about how one mistake from the past can haunt someone their entire lives. When both these motivations come together, it’s a story that acts as a sort of neo noir mystery and thriller, that establishes its presence more with dialogue than events. While the dialogue at times is a little choppy and uneven, the overall goings on make up for it.
‘Missing Child’ is a small project, and incredibly breezy in pace and timing. Despite an emotional story, the pacing is relatively well maintained and doesn’t seem to drag at any point. Some characters could have done with better development, however, the film itself works well as a light thriller.