During its one-hour and 45-minute run times, the movie paints a hauntingly realistic picture of what too many families across the globe are forced to endure when someone they love vanishes. It’s uncomfortable to watch, and that’s what makes it crucial viewing.
We review the Netflix film Noise (2023), which does not contain spoilers.
Directed by Natalia Beristain, Noise (original title: Ruido) is a harrowing crime drama about a desperate mother’s attempts at finding her 20-something daughter, who’s been missing for 9 months. With an ensemble cast featuring Julieta Egurrola, Teresa Ruiz, and Erick Israel Consuelo, this compelling piece won several awards and accolades since its premiere at the San Sebastián Film Festival in Spain and recently had its global premiere on Netflix.
Noise (2023) Review and Plot Summary
Noise starts with a haunting close-up of the protagonist, Julia (played masterfully by Egurrola), before introducing her story. Julia is a distinguished artist whose daughter, Gertrudis or Ger for short, has been missing for nine months and the incompetent authorities made little progress on her case. The police, her ex-husband, and even her son are urging the woman to let go and move on with her life. As a mother, she can’t do that. At a support group for families of missing people, Julia meets journalist Abril (Ruiz) and the two embark on a clandestine and dangerous investigation trying to find out what really happened to Ger.
This film offers a harrowing yet sobering experience from start to finish. The more we follow Julia on her journey, the more infuriating her situation feels. She’s making noise while the authorities would rather she and other bereft mothers like her stayed quiet. As the desperate woman is trying to find answers, the film exposes a level of corruption we’d all like to pretend doesn’t exist. The police use security footage of Ger using drugs on a night out as an excuse to blame the victim for her disappearance. The few people willing to help families in Julia’s position are putting their own lives at stake, one lawyer who investigates missing persons works in a derelict building and has armed security for protection. There’s even a horrific scene where our protagonist has to bribe a police officer to check a truck full of dead bodies before the authorities sweep the whole incident under the rug.
As the movie progresses, the protagonist delves deeper into a world where corruption and greed rule, while human life is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Julia, herself only finds the little bit of information she does because she has the funds to bribe the right people. And even then, she’s still risking her safety. The authorities aren’t really trying to find Ger. The cartels are running the show. And anyone asking too many uncomfortable questions becomes a missing person themselves.
What makes Noise unique is the way it gives screen time to as many stories similar to Julia’s. The director shares her story while poignantly reminding the viewer that she’s one of many. Through the protagonist’s perspective, we meet others just like her, who are desperately seeking answers. And despite the bleak prospects, we also get to see women coming together and helping each other in times of need. While it seems like the whole world is stacked against them, these women continue fighting for their mothers, daughters, and sisters. There’s a strong female-centric message in this movie, and despite its grittiness, just enough light is allowed to shine through.
Is the 2023 film Noise on Netflix good?
While Noise is set in Mexico, the film’s relevance extends far beyond. During its one-hour and 45-minute runtimes, the movie paints a hauntingly realistic picture of what too many families across the globe are forced to endure when someone they love vanishes. It’s uncomfortable to watch, and that’s what makes it crucial viewing.
What did you think of the Netflix film Noise (2023)? Comment below.