A father is on a desperate search to find his teenage daughter after she goes missing. Searching stars John Cho and Debra Messing in this thrilling mystery film. Find out why Searching is probably the best movie of the summer.
Searching Video Review:
As you can probably tell from the trailer, this movie brilliantly utilizes social media and technology to its advantage of storytelling. We’re never given a traditional camera shot of the characters or the story, and instead it’s always through another lens of technology that we experience the movie. While that may sound odd, given our current adaptation to the internet and media, the movie finds a comforting way to make this a more normal way of viewing than we realize. This is where the editing of the film is realized to be sheer brilliance in the fact that they find a number of ways to introduce drama, suspense and even brief moments of humor within the various mediums of technology.
From a storytelling angle, I thought Searching was masterful in terms of how quickly it initiates you into the internet-heavy mode, and then completely absorbs you into the story itself. What I appreciated the most about the plot is that it’s not predictable in any way because the cinematography, dialogue, and other facts push you deeper into a mysterious rabbit hole. You’re buckled in for a crazy, emotionally driven roller coaster ride, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Best of all, all the answers to the mystery are constantly presented to you. There are no stones left unturned. All the details to solve the mystery are layered and peppered throughout the movie. However, it doesn’t even matter because you’ll be too engrossed into the constant developments to pay much attention. The additional benefit here is that with those details in plain sight, Searching is more than worthy be to viewed multiple times.
The constant plot twists in this movie are nothing short of being nerve-wrecking. There are a number of points in the film where it could easily end, but just like a daytime soap opera, it pulls you right back in with another crazy twist. Thankfully, those twists are believable, and not just superficial plot devices.
While the film does focus heavily on the overall mystery, I thought it was pretty interesting that Director/Writer Aneesh Chaganty took the time to include some social critique into the film. There’s a moment in the film where we get to see an interesting side of society through the perspective of social media. It’s not a heavy inclusion, but I do think that it was subtle enough to still be effective in getting that particular message across.
John Cho does a fantastic job of portraying modern day parents who were on the bubble of being tech-savvy. That element was crucial to allowing his character to become a solid bridge for viewers who are either comfortable with new technology or not. Outside of that, his performance was excellent. He perfectly captures the emotions and actions of a reasonable parent caught up in an extremely stressful series of events. I must say, Debra Messing was also pretty good in her supporting role as well. The acting in this film just didn’t have any missteps in my opinion.
Searching is easily the best movie of the summer, if not the year thus far. It does exactly what we would want any movie to do; it takes you for an emotional ride and never stops until the very end. All you have to do is just sit back and go along with it. (And bring some blood pressure medicine too.) If you’ve seen the movie Unfriended, Searching basically takes the same visual approach, except in a much more matured way in terms of film making. If you’ve ever seen a Microsoft or Apple commercial then Searching is going to be more recognizable to you than you may think.
As a parent, I must say that this movie is a serious wake up call. If you’ve got teens, then you should definitely see this movie. If you don’t have teenagers, then you should still go see this movie. It definitely made me want to not only hug my kids a little closer, but be a bit more mindful of what your kid’s personal life. Anyway, if you couldn’t tell by now, GO SEE Searching!
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writers: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Stars: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee
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- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Cinematography - 10/1010/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 10/1010/10
- Setting/Theme - 9/109/10
- Buyability - 9/109/10
- Recyclability - 9/109/10