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The Missing Person DVD
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
The Missing Person DVD Review ‘The Missing Person’ is grubby, grainy, and morally ambiguous. The strong characters and powerful themes make it a great watch.
Rating:
4.25

Feature 8.5
Video 7.0
Audio 7.5
Special Features 2.0
Total 8.5
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification
: MA15+

8.5


The Missing Person

John Rosow is a walking anachronism. He doesn’t know what google is, and he doesn’t have a cell phone that can take pictures. He’s a private detective by trade, but his equipment is shockingly low-tech: Just a stethoscope and a pair of handcuffs. His brown suit looks like it’s been dredged up from the 70’s. A man out of his depth in a world governed by paranoia and litigation, he subsists on alcohol and cigarettes. The only way he can exist in modern society is by dropping out of its rhythms. 

One morning Rosow (Played by Michael Shannon) gets a phone call from a prospective client. The job is a simple one: he is to trail a man from Chicago to LA and wherever else, reporting on the target’s movements. Rosow gets an unwelcome surprise when he finds that the man is travelling with a young boy. He tracks them all the way to Mexico, to an orphanage where the staff carry machine guns. He runs into a pair of FBI agents, who are also tailing the man. Suddenly a straightforward job isn’t so simple anymore, as old friends come back on the scene. Everyone has an interest in Rosow and his target, and all roads lead back to the last place John wants to be: New York City. 

Everything about this film says ‘seedy,’ from the washed-out colour palette to the artefacts and graininess that flicker across the screen. Every location has been carefully chosen for its shabby aesthetic, be it a motel room with wood grain panels, or a cell phone shop set up to look like a pawn broker. 

The soundtrack has received the same treatment, with a fittingly retro jazz score and a dull roar of background noise during the quieter moments.  

Michael Shannon’s hopelessly depraved portrayal of Rosow is endearing and captivating. You can’t help but smile at the bleary-eyed expressions and awkward jokes that make it so easy for the other characters to hate him.  

A great line of dialogue in this film is an allusion to the game ‘hide-and-seek,’ in which another character asks Rosow, “So which are you doing, hiding or seeking?”

You get the impression that almost every character is in some way searching for something, whether it be redemption or a part of themselves that has become lost. 

Special Features: 

Theatrical trailer 

Closing comments: 

‘The Missing Person’ is grubby, grainy, and morally ambiguous. The strong characters and powerful themes make it a great watch.






 
 



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