One moment there's a hand in yours - and the next moment it's gone. For Tony Hughes, the emptiness of those seconds that turn into panic-stricken minutes, then weeks, then years, it is a moment he cannot forget - and now he can never let go. What happened to Tony and Emily's son Oliver when they holidayed in France? Was he lost? Kidnapped? Trafficked? Murdered? The not-knowing haunts them, tears at them, shreds their marriage. And while Emily tries to move on, Tony can only go back - to that day, to that place and try to find his son... try and find the truth. Set in England and France over eight years, The Missing follows Tony and Emily's story along with the French police grappling with a small town and a way of life overturned by events as they witness a man out of control, out for the truth, out for some kind of justice. In a world full of hope and despair, passion and injustice - how far will one man go to ease the pain inside? The answer lies in 'The Missing'.
Not bad - covers some uncomfortable topics rather well
- The Missing: Series 1 review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
It's a drama about a couple whose 6-year-old son goes missing while they're on holiday in France during the 2006 World Cup. In the course of 8 x 1 hour episodes using flashback and flash-forward between 2006, 2009 and the present day (well, 2014) the hunt for the missing child is explored through the eyes of the parents, and principally the father played by James Nesbitt as he never gives up hope of finding his son again.
With the whole gamut of emotions from despair through to rage, and covering some uncomfortable topics from child abduction, trafficking and paedophilia, drug abuse, police and judicial corruption, murder, stress, loss of trust and marriage break-up, the drama would test the best of both film makers and actors. And as might be expected there are some successes and failures.
The series is slow moving and thorough, exploring many uncomfortable corners of human life. Generally it feels believable - but there is a major let-down in the final episode where there is a too-rapid tidying up of loose ends, followed by an ambiguous ending.
Unfortunately for me I have always found James Nesbitt to be a 'wooden' actor - in some scenes that is an advantage as his internal turmoil is hidden, but for the most part his acting hides the emotional despair that any parent would feel. The mother is played by Frances O'Connor who is more believable. And then there are a series of characters who speak with a mix of genuine and bogus France accents, and one rather good portrayal by Arsher Ali of the thoroughly odious, manipulative journalist Malik Suri. [Aside: there is even a bit of leaping-on-the-bandwagon here, as he goes in for a minor bit of mobile phone voicemail 'hacking'].
I enjoyed it (if one can 'enjoy' a drama about such uncomfortable topics) but with some reservations. I'll give it 4/5 stars.