Mari Gilbert is a mother of three daughters. Her oldest no longer lives at home and generally keeps in contact with her mother from time to time. After a recent call from Mari’s oldest daughter, Mari is expecting to have her over for dinner and catch up. However, on the night of the daughter’s planned visit, she never shows up. After not hearing from her eldest daughter for a couple of days, Mari begins to investigate the matter further and questions the police surrounding the possible disappearance. Mari soon discovers that her daughter isn’t the only girl that has gone missing in the area. Could they all be connected? And most importantly, is her daughter still alive?
For those who are not aware, Lost Girls is based on the Long Island Serial Killings which is now also a published book. While the film at time feels like a thriller, I will say in advance that if you’re expecting a blockbuster ending with many twists and turns, this is not that type of film. Lost Girls is a slow burn drama and we see it all from the eyes of a mother doing everything to seek out the truth about what happened to her daughter. This is a mother who is seeking answers and demanding the assistance of the police. Lost Girls is a true crime story and I feel it’s an important story for the world to see and I’m personally glad that I did.
The film does a fantastic job at drawing you into the disappearance of Mari’s daughter. As Mari begins to question police procedures and the events that took place around her daughter’s disappearance, you’ll find it easy to support Mari’s decisions, even when at times she crosses the line with her use of foul language or force.
The leading performances here are stunning, particularly from Amy Ryan (plays Mari). Supporting actor Gabriel Byrne also gives a surprising performance but I must confess that I’ve always had a soft spot this actor. Actors who are side characters also give good performances, but they simply don’t have enough screen time nor are their characters really standouts in the film. Side characters other than Mari’s own children seem to be brushed off and used more for the background.
The visuals of this film are also positive. As a Netflix title, I was rather impressed at the streaming quality of this film. The audio track is also positive, but the film doesn’t have any type of soundtrack to compliment the film. If I’m honest, the lack of a soundtrack wasn’t a problem for this type of film anyway. One of biggest issue with this film was the unusual editing style. During certain scenes the cuts felt incorrect or sometimes out of place. Characters go somewhere and begin a discussion only to have the scene quickly cut (perhaps to suit a runtime).
Overall, Lost Girls delivers a solid combination of drama and mystery. Along with the mixed packet of genres, there also are positive performances from key cast members including Amy Ryan & Gabriel Bryrne. But because the film is based on actual events, its ending is rather obvious and will rarely surprise a viewer. The film also makes unusual cuts which seem to interrupt scenes, making the movie feel slightly awkward and perhaps rushed. Either way, this film is a heartfelt story and no matter what my opinion is, it’s a very important film to see for yourself.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden