Searching: Movie Review

"Searching" is one cinematic experience that you'll find effectively enticing from start to finish. It's a timely, scary, emotional thrill ride that you won't easily forget. While the film eventually falters with its narrative heft, there's still no denying that even with its absurd twist, "Searching" was extremely awesome hyper techno-thriller.

Since his wife's untimely passing, David Kim (John Cho)and his daughter Margot (Michelle La) has had a silent rift between each other. When Margot suddenly goes missing without any trace, a missing person investigation is opened and a capable detective (Debra Messing) is assigned to the case. Without a single lead, David decides to do his own searching on the one place that may reveal his daughter's true personality and ultimately, real intentions: Margot's laptop. David must now trace one by one his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.
As gimmicky as the cinematic style "Searching" took may seem, it in fact what makes this experience one worth talking about and one worth remembering. Told through various gadgets, websites, applications and video streams, audiences are transported into the very eyes of our protagonist, David Kim. While it would be hard to imagine how a whole film could actually run off this method during its whole duration of around 90 minutes, "Searching" pulls this off marvelously. In fact, our own familiarity to how these gadgets work - every keystroke, mouse movement, opening, and closing of applications, web cameras - helped convey the emotional, logical, and the massive effort our main lead was going through. It helped that the actors themselves had very authentic performances. John Cho, having the most on-screen time and the obvious standout but everyone else was outstanding on their own merit. The screenplay had us hooked from the get-go. It had a lot, and we mean literally a LOT, of twists and surprises. From the subtle emotional intro to the never-ending guessing game on who the suspect is and what happened to Margot, "Searching" will leave you thinking hard and engaged throughout. Unfortunately, the final twist and ending felt rushed and out-of-place - to the point that "Searching" became a complete absurdity. Overall, "Searching" had us engaged, hooked, and invested into its virtual world. It had surprises and twists and emotional weight that we did not expect and it was one of those experiences that had us in awe from start to end.
Rating: 5 reels

Why you should watch it:
- first-person perpective is one cinematic experience that makes this unique and memorable
- strong performances from the whole cast

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the final twist turned the seeming reality into fantasy

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