A psychological thriller, Missing is about the search of three-year-old Titli, who goes missing from a resort in Mauritius one night. Sushant Dubey, a compulsive but harmless flirt, reluctantly brings his wife Aparna and their three-year-old daughter Titli to Mauritius with him on a work tour, after she insists on accompanying him. The very next morning after they check into the resort, Titli, who had been running a high fever, goes missing from their room in the wee hours. The search for Titli and the subsequent investigation by investigating officer, Ramkhilawan Buddu (Annu Kapoor) and his team, and the startling revelations that unfurl, form the crux of this film.
Manoj Bajpayee as Sushant Dubey fits the personality of the character he is essaying, like a glove, but performs with exaggerated mannerisms in certain scenes, almost reminiscent of his role in Ram Gopal Varma’s Kaun. The weak story line and the poor handling of the plot further lets him down. Tabu as Aparna, the concerned and anguished mother, is deeply convincing but lacks energy on screen. Annu Kapoor as the investigating officer, is miscast and evokes unintentional laughter, with him mouthing dialogues in French with panache and then translating those in Hindi, for the benefit of the audience. His overacting and dramatic gestures, make him seem like a caricature. The rest of the supporting cast delivers what is expected of them.
What starts off as an interesting premise, sadly degenerates into an unconvincing, amateurish and mindless plot, replete with gaping loopholes. The story within a story, perhaps, intentionally crafted to engage the viewer, appears convoluted, incredulous and a tad slipshod. The several versions and multiple points of view, a typical ingredient in a thriller, meant to give range, is uncalled for here and fails to build the necessary tension and drama. The emotional complexity given to the characters, especially that of Tabu’s, fails to make them rise to the occasion.
The music by MM Kreem, does nothing to uplift the viewing experience and the only song, a lori sung by Tabu for her daughter, is lacklustre. The background score, however, enhances some of the scenes and accelerates the pace.
The beautiful locales of Mauritius captured effectively by cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee, good production values and even the performances by a stellar cast, cannot salvage the film. Touted to be a thriller, the element of thrill is sadly missing in debutant writer-director Mukul Abhyankar’s Missing.
Director: Mukul Abhyankar
Starring: Tabu, Manoj Bajpayee, Annu Kapoor
Showing at: Cinepolis, CityPride, E-square, Inox and others
Rating: 1.5 stars