Daniel (O’Mochain) is employed part time in a lost and found portacabin at the Portarlington train station, where punters leave, and pick up, various items from a wallet to a baby. Using the coming and going as a springboard for the unfolding portmanteau, these punters then are dotted throughout the remaining stories that involve an urban myth of a will, the true story of a Canadian couple at Heathrow (moved to Dublin here), a craggy bar owner who perpetually re-opens his pub in the hope of ensnaring new customers, and a wedding.
Shot over five years 'Lost & Found', written, directed, produced and starring Liam O’Mochain (2011’s 'W.C.'), is an independently produced film on a micro budget. Fair play. But its 'Intermission' ambitions come undone as the seven stories reveal themselves to be only tentatively linked and the theme of characters and items being lost only to be later recovered perhaps isn’t as strong as it could be. The characters – Norma Sheahan’s ticket collector, Seamus Hughes’ romantic, etc - are either related, friends, flatmates, or know someone who knows someone: six degrees of separation in seven moves.
It’s a rather underpowered narrative that struggles for momentum with O’Mochain’s stop-start approach of fading to black and using jazzy interludes of trains arriving and leaving hampering forward motion. Most importantly there are no stakes involved: no one is forced into an important decision, no one takes it upon themselves to change the course of their story. It’s all happenstance and convenience.
The stories are trivial too: some are there to garner a laugh – the botched proposal episode - and some are bittersweet - a man suffering Alzheimer’s hangs around the train station begging for money to see a wife who is long gone – but because the episodes are so short there isn’t enough time to properly engage with the characters before the narrative moves on, while the dialogue afforded to them can be guilty of lacking nuance. It’s all rather stiff and forced.
It’s a real feat to write, direct and produce an independent film but perhaps another eye on the material would have benefited the end result here.