Wow. What an interesting concept for a film.

I will admit, I thought Searching would be hampered by the gimmick of “shown through screens”. I thought that the story and characters would suffer for it, and in some ways I was correct.

However. The “gimmick” allowed a classical thriller to become something more, to become relevant to our time and culture. Where detectives of yesteryear would search for clues gazing through a magnifying glass, the investigations of 2018 involve more digital footwork than physical.

All of the performances were captivating, and it was nice to see a modicum of character depth and development despite the film’s gimmick. I look forward to John Cho’s next leading role.

Searching, like every thriller of its like, contains many red herrings before the final reveal. Some are obvious, and others are more convincing. As soon as the uncle’s sweatshirt was seen in Margot’s (Michelle La) car, I suspected that my thoughts about Peter (Joseph Lee) were correct.

This film provides a necessary, if somewhat obvious, object lesson of today’s culture: people are connecting more to devices, and less to each other. It was heartbreaking to watch David (John Cho) discover that his daughter truly didn’t have any real friends. That she was suffering quietly every day.

Overall, Searching is an excellent thriller that uses a unique gimmick to tell a heartfelt story. Definitely one of the better films of the year.

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