You are going to feel right at home with this film’s storyline as you’re exclusively given a first hand account of the digital footprint of the Kim family. You will see their chats, their videos and eventually you will experience a parent’s worse nightmare.
Searching is the creation of director Aneesh Chaganty, who also is the co-writer along with Sev Ohanian. The film uses a new type of storytelling that producer Timur Bekmambetov calls “screenlife”. He used it himself as a director on Profile. Basically you see everything the main character posts to social media, any texts any live chats, etc.
David Kim (John Cho) and his daughter Margot have gone through some rough times. When Margot fails to answer her phone or respond to text, David will have to reach through her daughter’s social media to find he barely knows what her daughter does online. Eventually, he will have to file a missing persons report and talk to detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing). David ends up having to open her daughter’s laptop and find how deep does her digital footprint goes.
Interestingly enough, instead of the usual Hollywood knockoff versions of Google, Facebook, Chrome, Apple, Windows and so on, we get the actual Google search page, the Facebook way to retrieve a lost password, Gmail asking for a pin number and the awkward first time login to Tumblr. Miracle of miracles, there’s no Bing cameo. There’s also some OS progression as we first start with an older version of Windows (obviously bought by Dad) and clips on Windows Media Player to end with iPhone 7s and MacBooks.
Highly recommended. The storytelling is top notch, with some light humour here and there to ease us in. Once we get acquainted with the style, the suspense kicks it up a notch. I hate how this is going to sound but it’s a digital age thriller, where technology is both a tool and a hindrance on the road to the truth. Expect some twists and turns.
That will do for now.