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Searching – Movie Review

Searching – Movie Review

I have just seen the movie “Searching”. And without further ado, I’d like to declare it as the best movie I’ve watched this year. I’m thoroughly, entirely, blown away! But first, I think you should know why I decided to watch this movie.

Upon looking at the poster, I immediately thought that Searching is just another kidnap thriller, a kind of detective movie, maybe the long version of CSI? I heard it has a good reviews, but probably has something to do with the lead being Asian-American (something that is trending in the movie industry). But then I stumbled upon this tweet from Aneesh Chaganty (the producer and the writer) about why we all need to see Searching. It only took 2 minutes for me to commit that I’ll support this young man’s dream to set a precedent in making high quality movie. Below is the excerpt:

Aneesh Chaganty on Searching

Authentic Story Line

There are many great things about Searching movie. It starts with an amazing story line that is authentic and unpredictable. Amid sequel movies or movies adapted by books, it offers a fresh air – a fresh idea. Overall, it centers on David Kim, a dad who is trying to find his missing daughter by any means possible. He found many interesting facts about his daughter from her photos, social media, digital files – which led him to believe that he doesn’t really know her that well.

As a big fan of Black Mirror (PS: a must watch in Netflix!), I always find the double edges of technology to be very intriguing. How much can it hurt us? How much can it help us? Although it’s not as dark as Black Mirror, but Searching movie also highlight the unbearable fact that in the internet, no one is truly friends with each other. No one truly cares. Facebook status doesn’t mean anything, let alone Youtube videos – made by people who are thirsty of attention.

It also brings up an important point of internet security – proven by how easy her dad can “Forgot Password” to simply access her emails, Facebook, YouCast, and even her banking data. I know it’s simplified but it’s true: in internet, anyone can be anyone! People create fake account, copy the picture from internet, use it to phishing or committing a crime in a less-watched platform: the internet.

The movie story line ended with a huge plot twist – one that I never saw coming. And it is really satisfying to be made confused and shocked like that. I mean, after watching so many movies in your whole life, you kinda know how certain story is going to end.

Director/writer Aneesh Chaganty and John Cho on the set of Screen Gems’ SEARCHING.

Power of Fresh Format

The second most favorite thing about Searching is the cinematography. The whole movie is shot as if we’re looking through digital screens, like laptops, phones, TV, or CCTV cams. How extraordinary is that? I mean, there’s still dialogue of course, but it’s all formatted in digital screens, like conversation through FaceTime, breaking news in TV, or CCTV recording.

I think the opening of the movie is the one that is really memorable. How – by the simple act of removing calendar appointment – you could get the idea that her mother passed away. Woah there, some powerful stuff! Imagine, for your whole life, you eat a fried chicken, and you think that fried chicken is good, and there’s only one way to cook it. But then, someone serves you with a grilled chicken and proves that they can do something different and it is as good, if not better! That’s the best way to describe how I feel about conventional movies, you adapt it from book, you put CGI here and there, and it’s done. But now, now I found something so entirely different and it’s amazing – thanks to Aneesh Chaganty’s bold idealism!

Searching Movie

I think if I count right, I have urged and recommended Searching Movie for abut 20 people now. Maybe they think I’m annoying for repeatedly saying how worthwhile this one is, but I’m pretty sure that Searching is the first of many incredible movies that Aneesh Chaganty could produce in the near future. Looking forward to it!

Falencia Naoenz
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