Cinema

Missing on a Weekend: Who cares whodunit

A murder mystery with zero thrills

How do you make an engaging mystery film? To begin with get a compelling story. Unfortunately, Missing on a Weekend, spun around a dead body, a boy found unconscious on the Goa beach, his five missing friends and a posse of drug dealers doesn’t have much meat to hold the viewer in its grip. There are no great stylistic flourishes either to enliven the predictable trajectory. In fact, the script is nothing more than a series of random scenes held tenuously together. The characters have little complexity. To top it there are some cringing lines thrown in; a faux philosophical one in which a girl talks about how her life is like a sunset with night to follow soon had me sighing deeply. In other words a placid and unexciting show, all the way.



Other than Pawan Malhotra as Ali Ansari, the cop in charge of the investigations, and the villainous drug dealer played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya, there is not much weight to the cast either. Malhotra keeps picking his beard and looks largely disinterested. He claims he doesn’t have time, only 48 hours to solve the case. However, seeing the number of sunrises and sunsets that come and go (I didn’t count them though) till he cracks it – I suspect he would have overshot his deadline by at least a day or two. Bhattacharya has too small a role to make an impact.



One couldn’t care less about the group of friends, nor the actors who play them out. They try too hard to be hip and cool but are so not. One of them even has dental braces on. Karan Hariharan as the unconscious boy Laksh is earnest, and tries hard to bring some emotions to screen. But he can’t pull it off with such flimsy material on hand, certainly not in his debut film.



A police procedural, Missing on a Weekend is amateurishly staged and feels too long for its 113 odd minutes. A 30-minute long Crime Patrol episode on TV would have delivered something infinitely more watchable.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 9:47:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Missing-on-a-Weekend-Who-cares-whodunit/article14591158.ece

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