Searching follows the life of David Kim (John Cho) looking for his missing 16-year-old daughter, Margot (Michelle La). After filing a missing person report, David meets detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) as she leads the case. In an attempt to help, David looks through Margot’s laptop, contacts, and various social media accounts in hopes of finding a clue to her whereabouts. David’s findings reveal the not-so-shocking truth that one can learn a lot about someone from their digital footprint.
Searching brings forth a new approach to filming. A very noticeable difference to the traditional style of filming, Searching was shot from the point-of-view of smartphones and computer screens. Although the concept may seem odd, it was a perfect match for the plot.
The film is filled with a series of plot twists that leave viewers not only surprised and confused but also anticipating what the characters would do with the newfound clues. However, the constant changes in the investigation’s direction make it difficult to follow. Additionally, the film progresses at a quick pace which leaves the viewers with little time to piece together the big picture.
Another important part of the movie is that it is the first Hollywood Thriller that has an Asian lead. Unlike the 1990’s The Joy Luck Club and the recent Crazy Rich Asians, Searching does not focus on Asian culture. Instead, the film is simply about a father-daughter pair’s disconnection after a saddening incident.
My favorite aspect of the movie was how dynamic David’s character was. Throughout the film, he expressed a whole spectrum of emotions. Kim was gradually losing all sense of rationality, causing him to act on impulse and make very rash decisions. I really liked his irrational side because it made his character less predictable.
Overall, Searching was a really enjoyable film to watch. The dynamic development of every character and unpredictable plot twists compensated for how difficult it was to follow.