Small Screen Reviews
Sony Pictures Releasing
What’s It About?
A teenage girl goes missing, and her father soon realises after hacking into her computer than he didn’t really know her that well. But can he help track her down, or at the very least find the perpetrators?
Who’s In It?
John Cho (Harold & Kumar, Star Trek 1-3, & more recently Caller ID: Entity)
Debra Messing (Along Came Polly, Will & Grace)
Other notables include:
Director: Aneesh Chaganty (debut)
Searching is a fascinating insight into our relationship with technology and also how well we really know each other.
The set up is simple. A single father, played by John Cho, finds his daughter goes missing one night. When she still hasn’t returned he starts to panic, and out of desperation, he hacks into her laptop to find out something that might help track her down. What he uncovers is the fact that he didn’t really know his daughter as well as he thought.
Director Aneesh Chaganty, who also wrote the script, cleverly plays on our fears of parenthood and of technology and not fully comprehending what our children are looking at online. And he approaches the film in a clever and enticing way with much of the story being told through a computer or mobile screen to enhance the role it plays in our society. Yes this has been done before such as with Unfriended, but Aneesh does this very well and builds the tension nicely as the storyline progresses.
In addition, Chaganty also demonstrates the benefits of technology in equal measure with some lovely video montages of family life reminiscent of Up in a way, and using the screen time to enable the audience to really get to know its characters.
The strength of the film really lies in the performance since there are few special effects, and John Cho gives a truly sublime performance as the distraught dad, while Debra Messing is fine, if a little miscast as the detective on the case.
If there is one criticism to be made of Searching, it is probably that it pulls its punches towards the end, with a bit too much predictability, but aside from that it is a thoroughly entertaining and inventive film with a powerhouse performance from Cho.
In A Nutshell:
Inventive, entertaining and with a powerhouse performance from John Cho, but unfortunaly Searching does pull its punches at the end.
Release date: 07/01/2019
Certificate: 12 / 12A