Movie Review: Searching
Searching is a movie that keeps you entertained and that I would recommend, but that I think I will forget I've seen a year from now. It has an interesting premise: a father (John Cho) searches for his missing daughter (Michelle La) through various forms of technology and social media. The whole movie is told through his Google searches, Facebook stalking, Skype calls, etc., which sounds gimmicky but actually was refreshing and didn't feel forced at all, unlike other movies that use the same or similar methods.
There is a good twist in this film but other than that, I honestly don't remember much of it and I only saw it a few months ago. The movie does feel very current, both in its storytelling method and in its content. We don't realize how much strangers can find out about us just by following the trails of our social media accounts, and this film does a good job of saying that without being preachy about it.
It kept you interested in the mystery but the payout didn't feel as great as it could have, and there's nothing about it that demands a re-watch.
Stars: 2.5 out of 5
After the movie: Delete your Instagram and Facebook accounts
Searching is excellent proof that you can get experimental with form while retaining excellent storytelling.
The thriller’s plot centers on a father’s search for his missing daughter, but its seemingly gimmicky premise—the entire film is told through screens, often through Google searches and text message conversations—has garnered the most attention. The execution of this idea is great, and it never becomes tiresome or distracting. A big reason for this is that the story never feels limited by this framing device. Every detail and plot point is communicated in an interesting and captivating way.
Even without the unconventional storytelling device, Searching is one of the best mysteries in recent memory, because of its excellent script and plot. It’s the rare mystery that completely fooled me and felt completely fair in doing so. Even better, the dialogue, characterization, and character motivations all feel plausible and realistic. So often in mysteries, characters have to act in ways that make no sense for them to act for sake of the plot. In Searching, nothing feels forced.
I can’t recommend Searching enough to fans of mysteries and thrillers—it’s my favorite film of the year so far.
How does it compare to other recent missing-person thrillers?
Better than: Gone Girl [*Allie commentary: Bob, you’re so wrong.]
Way better than: A Simple Favor