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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

Searching (2018): Film Review

As the world evolves, film evolves with it. This fact has proven to be true in the past, and will always continue to be true as time goes on. Because, filmmakers want to make films that people can relate too. This way, more people will enjoy it, and the movie studio will make more money. Since 2015's critically-mixed (I happened to hate it) Unfriended, the idea of filming a movie through the webcam of a computer camera seen an increase. This has not been a drastic increase (only two films since have attempted this feat, one of them being Unfriended: Dark Web, the sequel to the 2015 film), but it has began to make its way as a common trend in cinema. And I am here to tell you that, for the first time since its inception, the "filmed by a webcam" tactic has actually worked, producing a movie that will have you on the edge of your seat from the beginning until the end of the credits. Searching sets a new bar for this idea of filmmaking, nailing everything from the perfect escalation of events, to a brilliantly casted cast, led by riveting performances from John Cho and Debra Messing. The film tells the story of David Kim, a single-father who raises his 16-year-old daughter, Margot Kim, in San Jose, California. One Thursday night, while she's at a study group, she goes missing - prompting a investigation to follow. As the events begin to escalate, David realizes that Margot was not the person he thought she ways, and maybe he wasn't the best father. Showing only the events of webcams and cameras, Searching presents this one-of-a-kind story in a completely new way, making it that much more entertaining and better of a premise. The problem with both Unfriended's is that, honestly, they lack basic intelligence. The scripts are stupid, the consequences dull, and there is no genuinely heart-racing moments (besides Ending B of Dark Web). That's just one reason why Searching is that much better. It presents a real life story that could happen to anyone, and encapsulates the feelings that David is feeling, without getting up in his face with a close-shot. It presents a new way of seeing the story that no other film has managed to accomplish (successfully). The story is creative, and is unlike any other "missing" person story that I have seen before. The film uses modern technology to its advantage, navigating the viewer through common social media apps like Tumblr, Twitter, and Reddit to find out what actually happened. All of this is harrowed by a spectacular performance by John Cho, who proves he is more than just a "comedy" actor. Assisted by a great performance by Debra Messing (the Detective in the film), the two prove to be quite the ensemble, despite the fact that they barely contact each other in person, if it's not on FaceTime (of course). The ending is perfect for the tone of the film, and truly pushes the viewer to the edge of their seat, feeling astonished by the turn the film took. But overall, Searching works very well for one core reason. It took a filmmaking idea that hasn't been used properly in the past, and makes it work. It presents a real life story to the crowd, and gives twists that will really shake people up. It's the perfect thriller for the modern age. And that's just facts.



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