Steve (Michael Lewis Jr.) and Chloe (Christine Diaz) have been in a relationship for years. At the start, they worked wonderfully together, but a failed promotion and a series of drinking binges have changed Steve. Fighting has been a regular occurrence, and life for the couple is progressively getting worse. It’s been three weeks since their last fight, and no one has seen Chloe since that day. With Steve in the spotlight, two detectives will do all they can to find her.
From the opening moments of writer-director Lemarze Smith’s Where is She? it’s obvious that the film is low budget and the cast and crew are inexperienced. The camerawork is shaky, the acting is mediocre, and the entire production feels average. However, I appreciate the cinematography to some degree, as the rocky nature of the movie adds a level of suspense and manages to immerse viewers in the story of Chloe and Steve. While this success feels like it was achieved by accident, it is a success nonetheless, and it provides viewers a reason to remain engaged and invested.
“…three weeks since their last fight, and no one has seen Chloe…”
Even with the potential to feel a connection to the storyline, I remained wholly disconnected. There were certainly moments of promise regarding the acting, particularly from Brandon E. Brooks as Mark, sprinkled throughout Where is She? but, overall, the acting was unappealing. It was incredibly difficult to believe a single word spoken, and worse, the actors share little to no chemistry with one another. Every line felt forced, unrealistic, and it drove me further and further from the production’s saving grace, its story.
Like other aspects of the film, the narrative might be a bit unrealistic from time to time, but, in general, I love a good mystery thriller. Smith adds psychological elements which are incredibly appealing. There are many moving pieces as the mystery of where Chloe unravels, and they keep viewers on the edge of their seats, unable to crack the code on their own. While several aspects turned me off, I found myself invested in figuring out who was responsible for her disappearance. This was enough to keep me engaged, and honestly, the only reason I cared enough to stick around to the end.
It’s obvious that, with the choices made in terms of the music, that the filmmaker desperately wanted a story that resonated with viewers on an emotional level. Still, there are entirely too many silly, unrealistic aspects that drown out the potential of an emotional connection. As a result, I felt an immediate disconnect from the characters and any hope of an emotional bond. As such, the thriller fails to reel in viewers. This is, in many ways, the theme of Where is She? There are a number of failed attempts to keep things afloat, and while some manage to entertain, the acting, directing, cinematography, and soundtrack fail to deliver as one might hope. The mystery surrounding Chloe’s disappearance is interesting enough to warrant a viewing, but it’s hard to say that the movie is a true success.
"…interesting enough to warrant a viewing..."