‘Searching’ is an innovative thriller that allows the digital technology we use in our everyday lives to reveal its dark plot.
The film first introduces us to the Kim family, via David Kim’s desktop. What we discover is a happy California family, but within the first 15 minutes, we become witnesses to emails and Google searches about his wife’s battle with cancer. David’s reluctance to talk about his wife’s death constructs a gap between David and his 15-year-old daughter, Margot.
While David sleeps at home one night, we see his computer light up three separate times because of missed calls from Margot. When he realizes his daughter is missing the next day, he launches into detective mode via her computer. The lead investigator on the case, Rosemary Vick, urges David to reach out to anyone who Margot knew. What he finds is the shocking truth that Margot had a life he knew nothing about.
The entirety of this film takes place through a computer screen, which allows the audience to see exactly what David sees as he follows the investigation. We catch glimpses of the texts, Facebook posts, and news clips David pulls up on his laptop screen. By allowing the audience to witness the film in this way, the director, Aneesha Chaganty, creates a realistic, cinematic experience that focuses on the conflict between human relationships and social media.
‘Searching’ gives us a disturbing look into the reality of how social media hands people any easy opportunity to spew hate and twist the truth. The high-tech mystery unfolds in an unexpected way, leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat. Be careful not to misplace all of your attention on the edgy, mysterious side of this film or you’ll miss the carefully positioned emotional moments this movie also has to offer.