The Missing Person
is a walking anachronism. He doesnt
know what google is, and he doesnt
have a cell phone that can take pictures. Hes
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 its
been dredged up from the 70s.
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.
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 targets
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
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.
about this film says
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.
soundtrack has received the same treatment, with a fittingly retro jazz
score and a dull roar of background noise during the quieter moments.
hopelessly depraved portrayal of Rosow is endearing and captivating. You
help but smile at the bleary-eyed expressions and awkward jokes that
make it so easy for the other characters to hate him.
line of dialogue in this film is an allusion to the game
in which another character asks Rosow,
which are you doing, hiding or seeking?
the impression that almost every character is in some way searching for
something, whether it be redemption or a part of themselves that has
is grubby, grainy, and morally ambiguous. The strong characters and
powerful themes make it a great watch.