A mother’s worst nightmare comes true in upcoming thriller Missing
If you ever wanted to see Gong Hyo-jin (Jealousy Incarnate) not play a plucky, Candy-like heroine for once, then upcoming thriller Missing may be just the movie for you. And if you want to support two accomplished actresses and a female director doing what they do best in male-dominated Chungmuro, this is also the movie to look out for.
In Missing, actress Eom Ji-won (The Phone, Thrice Married Woman) plays Ji-seon, a single working mom who hires a Chinese nanny named Han-mae, played by Gong Hyo-jin, to look after her baby daughter. One day, her worst nightmare comes true, and her daughter goes missing, along with the nanny. She suspects the nanny kidnapped her child, and she goes on a desperate chase to locate her daughter, her sanity diminishing at every turn.
In the trailer, Eom Ji-won returns home from work one evening and finds her baby and nanny missing. She’s seen running around and calling out her daughter’s name. The guard at her apartment complex remarks that the nanny, Gong Hyo-jin, is a weird woman, and we see her on a bicycle, circling a middle-aged woman pushing a stroller. She knocks over the woman’s groceries as a diversion and shoves the stroller away, sending it rolling, while the woman scrambles to collect the produce that spilled out. A student eyes her with a puzzling gaze, but Gong Hyo-jin ominously brings a finger to her lips, requesting silence. Eom descends into hysterics while searching for her daughter, and the trailer ends with Gong sobbing and wailing.
I’m a fan of both Eom Ji-won and Gong Hyo-jin, but I’m more interested to see the latter shed her sweet, girl-next-door “Gong-vely” image for a darker, more sinister role. Eom Ji-won is no stranger to darker films or the role of the mother; in the movie Hope, Eom played the mother of a sexual assault victim.
It’s a nice change of pace to have neither of the lead actresses playing the romantic interest or sidekick to a male protagonist; Eom Ji-won and Gong Hyo-jin are front and center and driving the film. Not only do we have two A-list actresses headlining, but the writer, Hong Eun-mi (Love Exposure), and director, Lee Eon-hee (…ing), are women as well. I’m all for greater representation of women in film so I’ll be adding this movie to my watch list. Candys are fun and all, but so are deep, complex women, whether good or evil.
Missing will premiere in theaters on November 30.
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