Find My Child (1983)
Child & Parent Care
Whilst on a shopping trip to the mall Reve Walsh (JoBeth Williams - Poltergeist) leaves her son Adam (John Boston) at the computer game section of a shop like she has done before with him knowing not to go anywhere whilst she just popped to another aisle. But on her return Adam is gone and after putting out tannoy announcements and calling her husband John (Daniel J. Travanti) it becomes clear that Adam has gone, most likely kidnapped by someone. As the search for Adam progresses it takes its toll on both Reve and John's as well as there relationship. But it also leads to John in the wake of his own son's abduction trying to do something to prevent this sort of thing happening again to others as well as providing support for families who are going through what they have.
Out of respect to the Walsh's their story is a moving, horrific and troubled one which even though as I write this is over 30 years old is still sad and uncomfortable. But "Find My Child" which is also known as "Adam" is just another made for TV movie which dramatizes what happened and in doing so becoming a public awareness movie for both parents and children. I say that as there have been a few movies since which sadly cover familiar territory from a child being taken to a parent in the wake of a tragedy trying to make a difference for others going through the same thing and "Find My Child" is no better or worse than any of them even those which have been made more recently.
Now I am not going to go into detail of what happens in "Find My Child" as with this being based on a true story which is now over 30 years old there will be many who never heard of Adam Walsh and his parents, if you really want to know the true story is available online elsewhere. But basically the movie can be split into two with the first half focussing on Adam's disappearance, the effect on John and Reve as well as what actually happened to Adam. The second half focuses on John's endeavours to help others in similar situations and putting systems in place to deal with children who go missing or get lost in shopping malls. Both sides are interesting and the first half is dramatic but as I said it is only on the same level of other made for TV movies which have dramatized other similar true stories.
The one thing which "Find My Child" has going for it, the one thing which stands out is the calibre of the acting with both JoBeth Williams and Daniel J. Travanti bringing the characters of Reve and John to life as very real people with very real emotions. And what makes these performances right is that they don't just deliver lines or go over the top with drama and emotion but keep it at the level where you believe that they are parents dealing with the disappearance of their son and how it makes them feel guilty and hopeless.
What this all boils down to is that "Find My Child" is one of those made for TV movies where the power of the true story can sway you when it comes to how much the movie impresses you. But in truth over the years there have been other movies which cover similar true stories and this one is no better or worse than any of them.
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