"Cho puts in the performance of a lifetime and is completely mind-blowing"

Do you ever look at someone on their phone and wonder what lives they are living just across the way from you? Do you ever see your brother, sister, friend, wife, husband, mother, father, and whoever laugh at a screen and tentative say “oh it’s nothing” after you enquire? 

We’ve become a world obsessed with our phones and build up different worlds with just a few taps of your fingers. 

If someone you loved went missing, however, would you be able to peel through the web pages to uncover the truth? That’s what thriller/drama Searching is all about. 

The film revolves around a young widowed father David Kim who has become somewhat ostracised from the life of his teenage daughter. Margot, the timid young girl has become elusive, keeping herself to herself and spending a lot of time on social media. When Margot disappears, David becomes obsessed in finding his daughter and must unlock her online presence to find what has happened to her. 

Directed by Aneesh Chaganty, Searching is a relatively simple film that would’ve been done in an innovative way if movies such as this hadn’t already been and gone (Unfriended, for example.) That being said, it’s great to see this screen shot thriller utilised in this manner because it’s the most realistic. How many times have you wondered about your friends? Or your family? Wondered what secrets they keep tucked away online? Everyone is so obsessed with technology it’s good to have this presented this way without patronising or being too preachy about teach either. You’re invested in David and that generally works at times.

Mainly because John Cho puts in such a grief-stricken performance here. His work is outstanding as the Dad on the edge, determined to uncover the truth about his daughter’s whereabouts. I mean Cho has to be incredible, doesn’t he? The majority of his film is his face as he clicks and scrolls online. Luckily, Cho puts in the performance of a lifetime and is completely mind-blowing. Debra Messing is a good addition as the detective trying to solve the mystery with David too. The pair have a great rapport together.

The problem with Searching is a problem I have with this new “genre” of films: Watching people click and drag solely through the screen and shoddy camera work can get boring. The mouse has to move slower in order for folks to actually follow it.

The film still invests you into the mystery. As David makes wrong turns and uncovers red herrings, there is an interest to find where Margot has gone. Regardless of the times it drags or the moments of boredom, Searching is a good pulpy thriller with a gimmick to make it feel original.