When 16 year old Margot (Michelle La) goes missing, her father, David (John Cho), desperately starts looking for clues to her whereabouts on Margot’s laptop. His search results in one of the most captivating and inventive forms of storytelling to date
What makes Searching unlike any other film of its kind is first-time director, Aneesh Chaganty, who decided to tell the entire story through the use of screens — devices such as iPhones, laptops, and televisions. Although this approach risks feeling gimmicky, Chaganty successfully executes a well-crafted story and a clever take on the genre.
I was impressed by how authentic the overall experience of the filming felt. Often, films that are driven by technology and feature ongoing shots of a screen seem to take the easy route of excluding the humanity in our online experience. Everyone seems to find what they’re looking for immediately and no one makes a single typo. Searching accurately captures the human experience of being online, and perfectly depicts some of the timely terrors of the Internet and social media.
In addition, Searching has a solid ensemble of well developed characters who were engaging to watch on-screen. I felt extremely close to the Kim family and their fate, largely a credit to John Cho’s fantastic performance as an obsessive and frantic father.
Final Thoughts: Searching is an impressive and riveting new form of storytelling packed with a strong and entertaining narrative and equally strong characters.