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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sean Kelly

Canadian Film Fest 2013: My Thoughts on The Disappeared

The DisappearedThe Disappeared tells the story of six shipwreck survivors stranded on two life boats in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  The crew consists of Captain Gerald (Brian Downey), Mannie (Billy Campbell), Gib (Ryan Doucette), Pete (Shawn Doyle), Merv (Gary Levert), and Dickie (Neil Matheson).  Gerald estimates that they are 600 miles from shore and that they will be able to reach dry land within a few days.  However, as time goes on, tempers begin to flare and the true determination of these men is put to the test.

There isn’t really all that much to the plot of The Disappeared, however I do have to say that the filmmakers were able to keep the film enticing, despite the single location.  One of the major dilemmas in the film comes from the fact that Mannie’s arm was injured when the boat went down.  The cut gets infected and Mannie gets more sick and desperate as the film goes on, with him even begging at one point for someone to amputate his arm.  Some other issues the film tackles includes the test of Merv’s religious faith, as well as Pete slowly getting fed up with Gerald’s leadership.

Probably one of the most interesting, and gross, moments in the film comes when Gerald shoots down a seagull to eat.  It speaks volumes to how dire these men’s situation is when they are willing to eat a raw bird in order to survive.  In fact, the limited food and water on the boats becomes a major plot point.  For instance, as Mannie begins to become more sick from his infection, many of the crew members decide to sacrifice part of their water rations.  There is also a moment in the film, where one of the men is caught eating the rations in secret.

There is not too much more than I can say about The Disappeared.  I do have to admit that there was a point when I started to feel a bit bored with the film, since there is only so much that can happen to a group of men stranded in the middle of the ocean. However, I definitely thought that it was an interesting story of survival, with each character having their own way of coping with the situation.  The film features an interesting disclaimer in the credits saying that it is a “fictional film inspired by the stories of those who survived.”  I cannot imagine what it must be like to be stranded in the middle of the ocean in a lifeboat.  In some ways, it can be a fate worse than death.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).