Searching – Movie Review

Searching is a movie about David Kim, a dad who tries to find his daughter after she disappears. The movie only tells the story through the use of technology.

Searching is one of the best films of the year. Firstly, one of the best parts of this film is the unique execution. We only see the events of the movie unravel through laptop screens and cameras. The only other movies that have used this technique are the Unfriended movies. However, this movie does it in a much more entertaining fashion. It was refreshing to watch a movie take a different approach to storytelling and the uniqueness is one of the aspects of the film that make it extremely memorable.

Furthermore, the movie really finds a way to tug at the audience’s heartstrings. One of the reasons for this is the father and daughter relationship at the heart of the movie. The premise of a kidnapping allows the film to explore the challenging aspects of the relationship between the two characters. To add on to that, we also see the love both characters have for each other and the complexity of the relationship is developed really well. Moreover, the movie deals with the theme of loss and without spoiling the film, the opening five minutes are extremely emotional. Wonderful direction.

Part of the reason that the emotional moments work is John Cho’s lead performance. He manages to pull off incredible range throughout the film. John Cho does a great job in portraying anger or grief and manages to pull off the jovial moments perfectly at the same time. David Kim’s character is also well-written. There’s a lot of depth in the character and that was brought to life by John Cho. A lot of the character work on Margot Kim was also brilliant. The character shows what many teenagers have to go through when they experience a tragic loss. Details about Margot’s character is revealed in a fantastic manner by director Aneesh Chaganty.

Another aspect of the film that makes it incredible is the engaging narrative. The story had constant twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole movie. Many of the twists were genuinely surprising. This made the movie unpredictable and increased my overall enjoyment. Searching also has an extremely emotional moment before the final act and that sequence was probably one of the most effective. Furthermore, the score helps build the tension in multiple scenes of the movie.

Although I liked the final act, I have seen many critics criticise the ending. Many of them said that it was extremely rushed. To an extent, I agree with the criticisms. The ending does come out of left field. Yet, I still thoroughly appreciated the movie.

The film explores many themes relevant to the world today. I don’t want to spoil the film for you by mentioning these themes. Just know that the movie has well-executed social commentary. 

Overall, Searching is an exceptional film with an engaging story that had an original execution. The ending may feel rushed but it didn’t have an effect on the film’s overall quality. This is one of the best films of the year and gets an from me.

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