Searching (12A)

Searching is a movie unlike anything we have ever seen before, where all the action is viewed through a screen.

After David Kim’s (John Cho) 16 year-old daughter Margot (Michelle La) goes missing local police set up an investigation to find the young girl. Highly commended Detective Vick (Deborah Messing) is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later the teen is still nowhere to be seen and the police have no leads in sight.

David decides to take matters into his own hands and breaks into Margot’s laptop hoping to find clues. Instead he uncovers that she’s been lying to him for quite some time. He begins to question who he can really trust.

We watch through multiple screens as David sets off on his heartbreaking mission to find out what happened to Margot, and to discover if she’s still alive.

At first his input is welcomed by Detective Vick, but soon enough his persistance becomes a hinderance and he’s asked to step away from the case. Unable to tow the line David takes matters in his own hands and continues his search solo.

He uncovers a vital clue that helps the investigation, bringing him one step closer to Margot. It quickly becomes a race against time to find the teenager before it’s too late. Meanwhile the media is quick to turn on the devoted Dad and place the blame on to him. Can David find Margot before both of their lives are ruined for good?

The concept behind Searching is a pretty cool one, the fact that you view the whole movie through a screen. Especially when you consider the how much screentime most people have day to day. However, in reality it creates a disjointed narrative that leaves you wanting more, and not in a good way.

The filmmakers behind Searching knew ahead of time why people would be skeptical about a computer screen movie. They were interviewed by Tech Crunch to try and get people on side. While the opening sequence sets the scene and tells us what to expect, there are scenes later on where consequences of action away from the screen result in confusion and real-life FOMO. Great idea, lacklustre execution.

By Ruth Walker

★★★☆☆

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