Film Review: LOST & FOUND

LOST & FOUND © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

LOST & FOUND © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

Despite its disjointed narrative, LOST & FOUND is a light-hearted, likeable comedy with a strong ensemble cast

Following his debut feature film THE BOOK THAT WROTE ITSELF (1999) and WC (2007), Irish writer and director Liam O Mochain returns to the big screen with LOST & FOUND, a warm-hearted comedy drama about a lost and found office in an Irish train station.

Inspired by true stories, LOST & FOUND follows seven interconnecting short stories. Likeable loser Daniel (Liam O Mochain) has just started his new job in a lost and found office of an Irish train station. As various people come and go, the items returned all share a theme of something lost or found, whether physical or metaphysical, and the characters weave in and out of each other’s lives in unexpected ways.

Structure-wise, LOST & FOUND is basically an omnibus of short stories. From the elderly man who pesters strangers for money to replace a lost train ticket, to a planned wedding proposal which goes awry as a couple pass through Dublin Airport, the vignettes breeze by at a sprightly pace, each one lasting between six to ten minutes. The one link between the stories is Daniel, who either plays a small part in the story or is linked to the item that has come into the lost and found office. Daniel acts as the springboard for exploring the theme of lost or found on a grander scale.

LOST & FOUND Film © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

LOST & FOUND Film © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

On the surface, there is plenty to like here with the short stories offering something for everyone. Yet, there is an underlying feeling that narrative flow is not homogeneous enough and at times it is easy for the viewer to get lost. One example of this is THE TENT, a short story in which Daniel heads to Poland to search for his late grandmother’s lost bracelet. While the segment is certainly entertaining (O Mochain plays on the absurd comic style typical of many Eastern European comedies) the decision to move the story away from the small Irish town to another country feels disjointed and the scope of the film soon becomes too ambitious and all-encompassing.

At times, there is also an amateur feel to the piece. Occasionally, a blurry camera shot makes its way into a segment and the long production period (the film was recorded over five years) means that facial hair is apt to disappear from scene to scene. As such, the consistency between the episodes varies and the quality of the narrative is affected, leading the viewer through some predictable plot twists.

Liam Carney in Lost & Found (2017) © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

Liam Carney in Lost & Found (2017) © Siar A Rachas Muid Productions Ltd.

That said, the majority of the stories are sweet, funny and occasionally heart-breaking and much of the film’s strength lies in the cast performances. O Mochain gets the hard part right as the amiable but unambitious Daniel, maintaining a whimsical tone, whether he’s presenting a wedding or attending a wake. Liam Carney also stands out for his performance in TICKET TO SOMEWHERE, bringing authenticity and power to the short yet touching story.

While LOST & FOUND isn’t going to blow you away, it is enjoyable to watch and all of the stories are, in turn, touching, funny and thoughtful. The omnibus nature of the piece means there is something here for everyone and by the end of the film, you feel like you have become part of a small tight-knit quirky community. A light-hearted, likeable comedy with a strong ensemble cast.

(3 / 5)

LOST & FOUND is released in UK cinemas from 19 October 2018.

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1