Warning: content includes spoilers; proceed with caution.
When you mix every parent’s nightmare of online predators with every child’s claim of how good the internet is, you get the film Searching. The film, which is directed by the acclaimed Aneesh Chaganty, opens by focusing on a broken family of a father and a daughter, and the entire story is told through the screen of a laptop. Similar to the “shaky film” style of a first-person point of view, this film is told through the webcam, facetime calls, and computer footage.
As the movie opens, we are shown a family that has been torn apart in the wake of the mother’s death from cancer. The father, David Kim, who is played by John Cho (Star Trek, New Girl, The Exorcist) is struggling to connect with his 16-year-old daughter Margot, played by Michelle La. After a few missed phone calls, Margot goes missing, which spirals the movie into chaos as David Kim desperately tries to find his daughter.
He scans the internet and tries to follow her cyber-steps, finding clue after clue about where she could be. The best part of this film was the ending, though. It takes a completely different turn from what is expected and tumbles down a darker hole, touching on the misuse of police power as well as the dangers of the fake face someone online could be.
Altogether, this film conquers a lot of issues in the coming age of technology and highlights how power could be used in the wrong way, even when the person believes they are in the right. There are so many clues hidden throughout the film. Chaganty did a great job at hiding the villain until the end but hinting at who it was all along.
While it was a little hard to see what was going on in the film at times, Chaganty pulled it all together at the end with ease. This film revolutionizes how stories are getting across in this day and age and shows how nothing is really as it seems. It is a great new spin on media and Hollywood movies and is a phenomenal start for Aneesh Chaganty, as it is his first major motion picture.
If you are looking for a great thriller film or just something to get your mind thinking, this is the film for you.