DIFF Review: Searching

You’ll never look at a laptop the same way again.

Emerging from Sundance as a heralded film centering on technology and the age of mass information, Searching is structured in a similar vein to films like the Unfriended series, which take place completely on a computer screen. Utilizing unique video chat camera angles and a methodical story-telling method that aims to focus the audience on bread crumb clues that amount to breathtaking final revelation.

David, played by indie favorite John Cho, a father coping with the disappearance of his daughter searches her laptop for the truth behind her disappearance. When John begins sifting through emails and facetiming his daughters’ friends, tiny details begin to a mount to a mystery beyond comprehension. Whether it be a phone number on a piano teacher’s flyer, or discovering nefarious characters in her chat history, small details provide structure to the narrative and create an intimate portrait of Margot’s (David’s daughter) life without Margot ever delivering substantial dialogue.

Searching uses its innovative narrative approach in ways that other similarly structured films haven’t quite yet mastered, and while at times this does hold back the intensity of scenes and diminishes the intensity of some visuals, the approach continuously keeps the audience scanning the screen for minute details. The result is an immersive experience that feels more like an interactive game of Clue on the big screen than it does a cinematic thriller. Searching combines a modern-day technological twist to an original perspective on a typical disappearance thriller movie and is a must see for all movie goers.


BY: Ben Tardif

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