Keke Palmer in Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2012)

Crying for the Baby

Just 19 days after the happiest day of their lives when their first child, Carlina, was born Joy White (Sherri Shepherd) and Carl Tyson (Roger R. Cross) are tossed in to a nightmare when having taken her to the hospital their baby is abducted. Ann Pettway (Aunjanue Ellis) having suffered another miscarriage and desperate to have a baby is the woman who kidnaps her by pretending to be a nurse. Whilst both Joy and Carl struggle with what happened Ann sets about raising their child as her own. Years later and having grown in to a young woman with a daughter of her own Carlina (Keke Palmer) begins to question whether Ann is her real mum and sets about trying to discover the truth. The question is will she be able to live with what the truth is?

After watching "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" a few thoughts flew around my head; the first of which is the writers have tried their best to give the story as much detail as possible. And then secondly is that there are so many made for TV movies about abducted babies and children discovering their parents are not really their parents that it is impossible for a movie like this, even one based on a true story, not to feel a little cliche at times. It is the trouble which "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" has because the writers have tried to cram in as much story as possible but can't do all the parts justice whilst certain parts of it feel cliche.

Aunjanue Ellis in Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2012)

Now I don't know the ins and outs of the real Carlina White story so I don't know how accurate "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" is but as I said the writers try to cram in plenty of story. As such after the abduction of Carlina we see how Joy struggles especially with Carl reminding her too much of their missing baby, but it is a single scene which leads to them separating and then we get a single scene later on when having gone their separate ways still keep in touch on what would be their daughter's birthday which leads to an emotional scene. It is the same throughout as all the aspects of the story never get the full development needed to make the story genuinely flow rather than coming across almost like a series of statements.

I suppose what I am actually saying is that the story behind "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" is to big to be crammed in to just 86 minutes and would have been much better turned into a two part mini-series with the natural break point being Carlina's discovery of who her real parents are as there is plenty of drama which follows this point. And what is a real shame is that the acting in "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" is a lot better than you normally find in a TV movie but due to the script trying to cram so much in the abruptness of the script makes the dialogue at times feel clunky and forced.

What this all boils down to is that "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" is a made for TV movie which almost breaks free of the bounds of a TV movie and becomes something more. But in trying to cram so much in to the space of just 86 minutes it ends up feeling rushed.