David Kim (John Cho) becomes undone when his teenage daughter Margot (Michelle La) vanishes without warning. After breaking into her laptop, he launches his own investigation that takes him on an unthinkable journey to the truth.
At first glance, the plot may seem a little predictable, however it’s anything but. The filmmakers took a very unique approach with the storytelling. The entire movie unfolds through Face Time calls, text messages, screen grabs and emails. It’s dangerously ambitious and the results are rewarding.
In the same way “found footage” movies like The Blair Witch Project gripped audiences, this medium of storytelling is just as effective partially because it feels so familiar. So much of our lives take place on screens (perhaps more than we actually realize).
Searching is a one-of-a-kind thriller that had me hooked from the beginning. Simply put, I think it’s a suspenseful and innovative masterpiece.
While Margot might be the heart of the film, David is the very essence and driving force. I was really moved by Cho’s honest performance and I think Searching truly displays his versatility (and evolution) as an actor. So much hinges upon his performance because the audience is with him every step of the way. Each time he finds a puzzle piece, the audience is also attempting to decipher it too (at least I was ha)!
That leads me to the actual script. I’m always impressed when a film doesn’t lose itself between the first and third act. It’s no easy feat to tell a story like this one that has so many twists and turns. The writers tell the story, but don’t sacrifice the heart or tone in the process.
One final thought I had while watching this in theaters was the fact that our decisions, be they good or bad, right or wrong, often have a greater impact on those around us. Searching does an excellent job of serving as entertainment, but also reminds us not to lose ourselves in our internet persona(s) and to find someone IRL we can trust and open up to. The bombshell ending really threw me and I could appreciate the closure that came before those end credits started to roll. As always, no SPOILERS, but I will say that the final moments of the film are some of the most satisfying moments I’ve experienced at the theater this year 😉
It’s a little early to share my list of favorite films this year, but I can tell you right now that this one will likely be on it! I highly recommend to those who love a good mystery thriller.
Searching is directed by Aneesh Chaganty who co-wrote the script along with Sev Ohanian. It stars John Cho, Sara Sohn, Joseph Lee, Michelle La and Debra Messing. It’s currently in theaters now!
What movies made your “must-see” list this year? Let me know in the comments down below!