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“Searching” proves itself a thrilling watch

Eddie Melfi, staff writer

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When a father’s daughter goes missing, he does whatever it takes to find her and bring her back home. The catch? He doesn’t know his daughter as well as he thought he did. To find even a clue as to where she might be, he resorts to looking online, desperately looking for answers where he knows puzzle pieces are scattered just to see what his daughter’s life was really like in order to understand where she might have gone, or who she might have encountered. Aneesh Chaganty’s film, Searching, introduces the audience to a scenario that has become realistic because of our use of technology and how scary it is to find something so easily on the internet.

Chaganty makes the whole story between the bond of this father and daughter feel as if you have known them for a long enough time where you can’t help but feel very down about this father’s search for his daughter. David Kim (played by John Cho) shows his will and strategy on how badly he wants his daughter back home safely. John Cho is able to nail this role head on as he shows pure emotion throughout the movie, feeling confused and worried to getting violent and having pure rage at some points in the movie. Everything David (Cho) does in the movie is a critical point on getting further with the search for his daughter and every clue he gets feels like a little moment of hope for not just him, but for the whole audience. Margot Kim (Michelle La) also nails the role as a daughter, feeling distraught and not knowing what to look forward to at all anymore after a close family member passed away. Although we only see her through videos and photos for the majority of the movie, she still sticks to her role very well and is able to portray this type of unique character only high schoolers or young adults in general can understand.  

The supporting characters include Peter Kim (Joseph Lee), who is David Kim’s brother, and Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing), who is in charge of leading this missing persons case for Margot Kim. Peter (Lee) isn’t seen throughout most of the film but he is still a pretty valuable character. He helps out with looking for his niece, Margot, and trying to keep David emotionally stable as he cries and yells and gets very frustrated when he gets stuck on not finding his daughter. Although there were moments where his acting felt pretty over dramatic, overall, his performance was very good. Detective Rosemary Vick (Messing) is a key role in the movie as she is not only the person leading this case on finding Margot but also has more of an importance later on in the film. She isn’t seen as much as David, obviously, but is seen more often than Peter in the movie and has a less dramatic performance than Joseph Lee. With this said, her performance was a little dull in a few scenes where she didn’t give off a genuine feeling or reaction when even the audience gave a better reaction to the scene.

The soundtrack was nonexistent except for the very beginning and very end of the movie, where it was very well still. The beginning has a happy-mood sounding song when the movie introduces us to the family and their happy times and at the end it adds a nice conclusion to all the madness that’s unfolded throughout the entire movie making the audience feel nothing but happiness and relief.

The cinematography is simple enough: it’s all viewed as if we are looking at someone’s laptop or phone screen or even their TV screen. It is interesting enough because there are a few movies that have had the audience watch the movie on a laptop or computer screen. Most of those movies have failed, though, because they were too forced to make them seem right, yet this movie didn’t force it because it was able to make it right on it’s own. The camera angles and lighting and all wasn’t really a worry because all the film had to worry about was making sure that everything seemed like it was viewed on a computer screen or other types of electronics. The film didn’t feel rushed at all, as it took it’s time unfolding events that happened to get closer to the mystery behind the disappearance of Margot. At the same time, everything was suspenseful as each clue meant another conflict for David or another emotional moment for not only him, but for the audience too.

The audience for this film is people who love mysteries and suspense mixed into one. It is a great film and leaves you at the edge of your right as the movie starts. Although it came out August 31, it is still in theaters because it is just that good. You better hurry up and go watch this astonishing film.

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“Searching” proves itself a thrilling watch