You know when people say “that’s x amount of time of my life I’ll never get back”? Technically, you won’t get any back, but you understand the principle. That’s how I felt after watching She’s Missing.
Written and directed by Alexandra McGuinness (“Lotus Eaters”, “Riders (TV)”), the film follows Heidi, Lucy Fry (“Bright“, “Wolf Creek (TV)”), as she attempts to track her friend Jane, Eiza Gonzalez (“Baby Driver“, “Alita: Battle Angel“), who goes missing.
Jane is an odd character; she wants to win the local rodeo pageant but also has a laissez-faire attitude that would make the French weep. She marries an army man and heads off to live on camp, leaving her pining friend Heidi to visit her whenever she gets chance.
Then Jane is no longer there. Not many people seem to care about this (me included if I’m honest), but Heidi does who, at this point, comes across as more than a little stalker-ish!
Anyway, the next hour and however long (feels longer than it is), sees Heidi going slowly, very slowly, from place to place trying to find out what’s happened to her friend. We go along for the ride and it should be interesting, scary, edgy. But it’s not.
McGuinness seems more interested in showing us the landscapes than the actual goings-on at times. They’re lovely, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t need to keep seeing them as they slow down an already slow film.
Finally, Heidi finds her friend and it’s ok she’s with Ren, Josh Hartnett (“Lucky Number Slevin”, “The Black Dahlia”), and it’s all just a big, whacked out party-cum-cult. So that’s ok then.
The good? Well, the score matches events on screen very well. It gives an ominous feeling throughout, rising at the right moments, reaching a crescendo when it should.
Despite the blazing desert heat of the setting, McGuinness shoots the whole thing in subdued mode, almost washed out, this adds to the mystery and hazy feeling of the whole affair.
But the film is to long, to meandering, at times it can feel as lost as Heidi believes Jane is.
22nd June 2019
THE QUICK SELL
When her best friend goes missing at a rodeo, Heidi goes on a search across the desert, digging up secrets and encountering the violence of life on the road.