Releasing today from Anchor Bay, on both DVD and Blu-Ray is the Starz/BBC co-pro miniseries, The Missing, starring James Nesbitt, Frances O’Connor, and Tcheky Karyo. Over eight episodes, beautifully presented in HD on blu-ray, with an incredibly sharp and clear image, the viewer is put through a taut, brutal, honest and emotional journey that doesn’t pull any punches, and moves the characters into some dark places.
Nesbitt and O’Connor are Tony and Emily Hughes, vacationing in France with their young son, Oliver (Oliver Hunt), during 2006 at the height of the World Cup. When they are forced into a stay over in the small French town of Chalon Du Bois, they decide to embrace the unexpected road stop, but when Oliver goes missing, their lives are plunged into a dark and frightening tale, further amped up by top-notch performances by all parties involved.
Flashing back and forward through time, we follow the 2006 investigation in their search for Oliver, led by Karyo’s Julien Baptiste, and in present day, where we see the fall-out of everything that has happened, the way people try to put some semblance of their lives back together, and how some have given their lives over to obsession and doubt.
There are gut-wrenching revelations in each episode, each of them leading to a final conclusion that hollows you out, and may in fact leave you with the same doubts that Tony harbors. Leads are followed in both timelines, and secrets come out, people are driven apart, or together, and the investigations and inquiries always take the story in places you didn’t expect it to go, as each new clue is a knife twist in the gut.
Nesbitt, as Tony, the center of the story, turns in an amazing performance, one that is complimented by the fact that he is surrounded by such powerhouse actors as O’Connor, Karyo, and Jason Flemyng. We follow his journey, see how his obsession and doubt has driven those he loved away, how each thread gives him new hope, something Baptiste tries to keep in check, as they try to figure out timelines, witnesses, and missing evidence.
While not necessarily light viewing, it is, in fact, completely engaging, and wraps you up in its storylines and characters, leading you to the inescapable climax, which upon its revelation left me stunned.
What the creators, Harry and Jack Williams have done is create a series that puts the viewer through the emotional wringer, and hopefully is as close as I ever come to experiencing such an event in my own life. Beautifully shot in some gorgeous locations, they serve as a counterpoint to the torture the characters are going through… how can there be so much beauty in the world when people can be made to suffer in such a way?
And the dual threat of hope and doubt haunts some people more than others until it can become all-consuming and there is nothing left…
The Missing, nominated for two Golden Globes, is available today from Anchor Bay.