Director – Aneesh Chaganty
Cast – John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La

Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Not every thriller can manage to bring out the emotion, the depth of characterization and simultaneously give a subtle commentary on the changing times and how technology has affected our lives while maintaining its genre of being a thriller. Well, Searching does exactly that. It is a delectable treat and I assure you that you will not walk out of the theatre dissatisfied.  Searching manages to bring out tears while keeping you at the edge of your seat all throughout its 102 minutes runtime.

The basic pitch of the film is quite simple- a rebellious teenager goes missing, and the father tries to find her frantically. What makes the film out of the box and makes it shine is its brilliant and clever filmmaking. The entire film is from the point of view of smartphones and desktops and Macs. Not once does the filmmaker deviate from this pattern. This entire tale is told through laptop screens and text messages and video calls. You’d argue that this should get tiring after a while. Trust me, it does not. Soon into the film, the sound of keyboard keys typing, or the sound of ringtones or the iPhone screen starts to engulf you in itself. It is a beautiful immersive experience and it leaves an indelible mark.

The protagonist, David Kim (played by John Cho), looks through past videos of his daughter Margot (played by Michelle La) and his late wife Pamela, he saved to his Windows desktop. After Pamela died of cancer, David and Margot’s relationship became strained, with David having Margot attend piano lessons she no longer enjoys. One night, Margot leaves to be with her study group and does not respond to her father’s call. What happens next is what the film is all about and it is a delight to watch. Not once, does the screenplay slacken and not once do you feel that the story is being dragged.

This movie has some incredible performances with the ones of John Cho and Debra Messing leaving the most impression on you. John Cho sells the film. You cry when he’s sad, you’re tense when he’s frantically looking through laptops and you feel him despite having actually seen him from an HD camera. Searching is more than just an empty stylistic exercise. Beneath the cool techno thrills, there is a beating heart. It is a brave film to make, with being a footage film and still being marketed as a commercial watching experience.

I would recommend everyone to go watch this film, and have a novel movie watching experience and promote such films for the future.

I would rate the film with 4.5 stars.

About the Author:

Aryan Wadehra (BDS, PU Campus)


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