THE MISSING PERSON
Release Date: November 20, 2009
Starring: Michael Shannon, Frank Wood,
Amy Ryan, Margaret Colin, John
Ventimiglia, and Linda Emond
Genre: Mystery Drama
Audience: Older teenagers to adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Strand Releasing
Director: Noah Buschel
Executive Producer: Jason Orans and Amy Ryan
Producer: Jesse Scolaro, Allen Bain,
Lois Drabkin, and Alex Estes
Writer: Noah Buschel
Address Comments To:Jon Gerrans and Marcus Hu
6140 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: (310) 836-7500; Fax: (310) 836-7510
John follows the man and boy to a small village in Mexico. He watches them talk to a Mexican guy, but is suddenly knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, the Mexican guy tells John that the mystery man’s name is Harold Fullmer. He tells John that Harold has been saving lost boys on the streets and bringing them into the refuge of his orphanage.
John tracks Harold back to Los Angeles. The lawyer who hired John calls him and offers John $500,000 to bring Harold back to his wife in New York. The lawyer is very secretive about the story behind this offer, however, so John confronts Harold in the train depot.
Harold reveals to John that he is a missing person, one of the people presumed dead after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Once a rich stockbroker troubled by the kidnapping death of his own son, Harold decided not to tell his wife about his survival and escape his meaningless life in New York. Instead, Harold decided to do something positive with his life by rescuing lost boys.
Though John left his own life in New York when his own wife was killed on 9/11, John is outraged that Harold did not tell his wife that he is alive but cannot go back to their former life. He forces to Harold to return to New York with him to see Harold’s wife, but John’s plan to collect the money for taking Harold to see his wife hits a couple snags.
Though it has some mystery and builds some tension, THE MISSING PERSON is more of a moody character piece about facing personal dilemmas that have moral implications. The ending is surprising but somewhat cryptic and ambiguous. Though the movie doesn’t have a strong, clear Christian or moral worldview, there are a few positive references to Roman Catholic saints and, by extension, Christianity. Also, the protagonist gets morally involved with the issues raised by the other people’s actions. Finally, a brief epilogue reveals that the protagonist’s experience leads him to let go of his personal demons and become sober.
Despite these positive elements, the movie contains some strong foul language, a bedroom scene when John picks up a woman from a bar (with nothing lewd shown, however), and heavy alcohol use. Thus, extreme caution is warranted.
Though it has some mystery and builds some tension, THE MISSING PERSON is more of a moody character piece. It has cryptic, ambiguous moments, but there is also some positive Christian and moral content. In fact, a brief epilogue reveals that the protagonist’s experience leads him to let go of his personal demons and become sober. These positive redemptive elements are spoiled by some strong foul language, a bedroom scene, and heavy alcohol use.