(This is Searching film review, which is a 2018 film that revolves around the event of a disappearance case shown entirely using computers, TVs, and phone screens)
Have you always wondered how the film medium will change in this current era of smartphones and computer screens? Well, Aneesh Chaganty has decided to shoot his first directorial debut using entirely those smartphones and computer screens medium! Together with Sev Ohanian and featuring the famous and talented John Cho and Debra Messing, this film tries to tell a story that is very relatable to the current era of smartphones, as well as trying to change the style of storytelling. Could this be the movie that hits all the right spots? Read on the Searching film review below to find out!
When David’s daughter suddenly disappear after he received three missed calls in the dead of the night from her, he is assigned to Detective Vick who helps in this case. However, things start to get complicated when he realises that he does not know his daughter very well in both her online and offline presence. With nothing but social media and some old medias stored in her laptop as clues, could David manage to find her daughter before it’s too late?
Searching Film Review
Man oh man, I thought the premise would be simple, as such genre always contain several predictable turns that will make the film boring after the beginning. How I was SO wrong! The premise itself is actually pretty complicated and with many unexpected twists that keep you questioning until the revelation at the end. I am amazed at how the Director manages to create such intense film that keeps you on the edge till the end and using nothing but computer screens, smartphones and televisions as the story medium. Also, the changes from one medium to the next is smooth and makes the story flows in real-time, like a live update news report.
What’s even more impressive is how the story actually feels real and relatable to us in this current era, where we are often bombarded by such news almost every week. Pacing wise, it is terrific. The film flows from a twist to the next development without slowing down for some dramatic moment. In fact, the flow is so good that I do not even feel like I have actually spent 1.5 hour watching a film. With each development comes a new revelation which then turns into yet another twist that connects to the previously shown events or characters. Simply…brilliant!
The characters are the main stars of the show. John Cho is the epitome of Dad actor that I feel is really genuine in the way he portrays as David Kim. His every action, expression and behaviours are what exactly you would expect from a Dad whose daughter goes missing. I don’t know, the whole thing feels real like when he appears in the social media and some news footages, his body languages make things seem like I am actually watching a real person whose face appears on social medias trying to find his daughter. I dare to say that he is the reason why this film performs excellently. I even sympathise and then feels strong emotion throughout the film for his character, which is quite rare. Debra Messing is not a bad actress, though her performance is greatly overshadowed by John Cho.
Lastly, the soundtrack is actually pretty decent and helps to heighten the mood in the appropriate places. They are not memorable scores, but their presence is subtle enough to make the whole thing less dramatic and to make the film more realistic. In this sense, I feel that they did a good job.
ps. I love the transformation from Windows XP to Macbook 😉