Notice lost: a story of a missing person, but not really

Notice lost: a story of a missing person, but not really

Notice lost: a story of a missing person, but not really

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Lost, now streaming on Zee5, is a feature film that delves into the subject of missing persons across India, and how many of these cases might not be as easy to solve as they seem. The film, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (whose previous film Pink was a critical and commercial success in 2016), stars Yami Gautam as a crime reporter investigating the case of a Dalit theater activist from 26 years old missing. Unfortunately, Lost doesn’t quite hold up past halfway; Read on for my spoiler-free review of this new film.


Set in present-day Kolkata, Lost uses its setting to relate to topics that strongly affect the youth of contemporary India: caste-based discrimination, politics, political influence over the police, and the dangers of violence. ‘activism. While the film features a solid cast that pulls off decent individual performances, a lack of cohesion lets the story down and overshadows its attempts to pick up reasonable points. The film is largely in Hindi for wider appeal, but occasionally switches to easy-to-understand Bengali phrases for a bit of local character.

The film begins with journalist Vidhi Sahani (Yami Gautam) witnessing a woman crying in a police station after filing a missing person’s report for her 26-year-old brother Ishan (Tushar Pandey). This draws him into the investigation, which eventually leads to an accusation that the missing man is a Naxalite who was brainwashed and disappeared to pursue a specific agenda.

Others involved in the case are a charismatic Minister of State Ranjan Varman (Rahul Khanna), Ishan’s ambitious ex-girlfriend Ankita Chauhan (Pia Bajpiee), and his supporting sister (Honey Jain). that despite his beliefs and activism, he was firmly against violence and would never join a Naxalite or terrorist group. Vidhi also receives advice from her grandfather (Pankaj Kapur) with whom she lives and has a risky long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Jeet (Neel Bhoopalam).

The film remains engaging for the first half, thanks to some good casting choices and acting performances. Yami Gautam, Pankaj Kapur and Rahul Khanna stand out, with Khanna portraying the role of a cunning, charismatic and power-hungry politician with a particular skill. Pankaj Kapur, too, has a few important scenes in which he comes across as fearless and far too smart to be threatened, despite his obvious fears.

However, the various characters’ motivations seem sketchy, and the film often feels like a fashion show for Yami Gautam to display her collection of urban-chic outfits as she wanders around Kolkata in search of interviewing those involved. The film also spends far too much time on unimportant topics such as Vidhi’s relationship with her wealthy and image-conscious parents, and Ankita Chauhan’s largely unexplained motivations and ambitions.

Lost manages to produce good scenes with meaningful exchanges when Vidhi offers support to Ishan’s sister, Namita, through her own marital struggles; by showing how her boyfriend Jeet, like her parents, thinks very little about the struggles of lower caste people; and even exploring his own motivations.

“Ek Dalit ladka ja ke Maoist ban gaya, it’s not upsetting, it happens all the time,” Jeet says, with Neel Bhoopalam putting on his best chic South Bombay accent for added effect. It’s this scene that best tells the true story of the film, oddly enough. People usually jump to the simplest conclusion and are often reluctant to consider another point of view or dig deeper to find the truth.

Unfortunately for Lost, there’s far too much going on, with far too much time spent on unnecessary topics and not enough to explain many characters’ motivations. Ranjan Varman and Ankita Chauhan’s roles in this affair are largely ignored as merely being somewhat related and having motives to overthrow Ishan, and their actions remain largely unexplained and illogically disproportionate until the end.

The film begins to unfold shortly after the halfway point, when it becomes difficult to follow what is happening. Vidhi’s meaningless Varman and police interviews take up too much screen time, and time seems to be running out on Lost before it can truly solve any of the various mysteries it has created. The last 20 minutes of the film are rushed, disconnected, and completely disconnected, and the ending left me nothing but puzzled.

It all ultimately culminates in a message that, while good and entirely relatable, feels oddly out of place in this movie due to the lack of explanation as to where it really came from. It’s fair to say that Lost pretty much abandons itself. His acting performances, occasional positive messages, and technical quality just can’t hold up to his awkwardly rambling script. Let me know in the comments if you’re as confused as I am after watching this movie.

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