Columbia Tristar moves off the beaten track with western 'The Missing'

MUMBAI: This weekend Columbia Tristar India will give the discerning viewer something quite different in the form of a western. Its movie The Missing storms into cinemas across the country from 27 February

The film stars Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones The Fugitive and Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett Elizabeth. Reminiscent of the John Ford classic The Searchers the film tells the story of a woman (Blanchett) who goes out to rescue her daughter (an under used Evan Rachel Wood) after she is kidnapped by a strange Indian played by a scary Eric Schweig in 1885. To accomplish this task she seeks the help of her estranged father (Jones) who had deserted the family many years ago in oder to live with the Indians.

The studio had a press screening this morning. The film's mood is heightened by the stark cinematogrpahy. Salvatore Totino deserved Oscar attention for his work which is on par or even better than some of the nominees. The film has been directed by Ron Howard and is comfortably his darkest film till now. What is new in the film compared to recent entries like Open Range and the Eastwood classic Unforgiven is that it introduces the mythic element.

This writer is surprised at the many negative reviews that the film received as well as its poor performance at the box office in the US. Of course it could be the case that some of the critics and film fans out there are averse to the contemporary western in general. Because Jones' character has imbibed the Indian way of life the viewer gets a more rounded picture of their beliefs and can identify with them that much better.

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