Searching

One of the year’s best

By Adam Staten

Technology affects our daily lives in a variety of ways. As such, screens, in one form or another, are also an extremely pervasive part of world. There’s our computer screen at both work and home, our television screen and finally, our smartphone screen, which has essentially become an extension of most people’s hand at this point. While it can be argued technology has made our lives easier and it has, but it has also had adverse affects on our relationships with one another. One new film looks at this idea of our connected and ironically, disconnected world.

Searching is the story of a family, who learn that one of their immediate family members has been diagnosed with cancer. Despite early signs of recovery and remission, the deadly disease reappears. David, the father and the young daughter, Margot, both put up brave faces but are forced to watch their mother and wife wither away as the cancer wreaks havoc and her condition slowly deteriorates. Flash forward a couple years and that’s where the film picks back up.

Margot is now a freshman in high school and as with most high school students, her major concerns are succeeding in her classes and spending time with friends. And as like most high school students and their parents, a distance has developed and the amount of quality time they spend together has dropped considerably.  However, one night things dramatically change and not for the better. Despite repeated calls and texts from David, Margot never responds. It quickly becomes hours since David has heard from his daughter and the authorities are soon brought into assist with the missing person search. What David finds is worse than he could’ve possibly imagined.

Searching is sure to be unlike most films you’ll see. It’s shot in such a unique and inventive way. Instead of the conventional way, everything in the film is seen through a device with a screen, whether it is a computer screen, face-time conversations on the iPhone or surveillance cameras. Admittedly, for the first 30 minutes it works and works well, keeping the audience guessing as to what other screens or devices the filmmakers will employ. However, the novelty of the idea wears off pretty fast. Luckily, the story is more than enough to keep you entertained.

Searching is an extremely simple story, similar to something on an episode of SVU. But the writing is 10 times better, with much better twists and turns than are expected.

Searching is a fresh, inventive thriller with outstanding writing and creative cinematography. One of this year’s best. 4.5 out 5.