- 1 hr 41 min
Searching is a 2018 thriller that follows a desperate father, David Kim (played by John Cho), as he scours the internet in search of his missing daughter, Margot (played by Michelle La). In a new take on the classic "missing daughter" trope, the entire film is told through a screen-based narrative, with all of the action taking place on computer screens and through smartphones.
As the film opens, we see David's everyman life and his close relationship with Margot through a series of family videos and photographs. At the film's outset, Margot goes missing and David is immediately plunged into a world of panic and confusion. Searching takes place entirely within the confines of David's computer, his smartphone, and his online or digital connections to his immediate and wider world, as he attempts to piece together clues to his daughter's whereabouts.
From this gritty opening, the mystery of Margot's disappearance begins to unfold as David starts his search through texts, phone calls, and social media activity. As the investigation deepens and clues about Margot's behavior and potential danger emerge, David becomes more and more desperate to find her before it's too late.
Throughout the film, David is aided in his search by Detective Vick (played by Debra Messing), who is also investigating Margot's disappearance. Vick's phone conversations with David and her investigation of Margot's computer and social media profiles provide a counterpoint to David's own search, as she gradually becomes more and more wrapped up in the case.
Searching explores the themes of parenthood, identity, and the challenges and limitations of modern technology. It manages to build suspense and urgency through seemingly mundane online activities, such as scrolling through emails, viewing web pages, or piecing together chat logs. The film also tackles the darker side of the internet, including social media addiction, cyberbullying, and anonymous online personas.
Despite its unique screen-based narrative, Searching manages to be a gripping thriller with a strong emotional core. John Cho's performance as David is particularly noteworthy, capturing the character's desperation and determination as he navigates the digital space in search of his daughter. Through his interactions with Margot's friends and online connections, we see David struggling to understand and connect with his daughter in ways that he never did before.
In addition to Cho's standout performance, the film is bolstered by strong supporting performances from Debra Messing as Detective Vick and Joseph Lee as Peter, Margot's friend and classmate. Lee's performance in particular adds a sense of urgency and authenticity to the search, as Peter is one of the few people who can provide tangible details about Margot's recent behavior.
Overall, Searching is an innovative and suspenseful take on the missing person thriller genre. The screen-based narrative is a fresh and effective way to tell a story about modern technology's impact on our lives, and the film's emotional connection to its characters ensures that the stakes remain high throughout. It's definitely a must-see for fans of thrillers and technology-driven storytelling.
Searching is a 2018 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 71.