Film – Searching

Film – Searching

I know my daughter

Which of course a lot of parents find perhaps they actually don’t.

I imagined Searching as a Taken for the modern era. Margot goes missing a few months after her mother loses her life to cancer and we don’t know what’s happened to her.

After Margot’s been missing a day, her dad David Kim (John Cho) realises he actually doesn’t know any of her friends who she spends time with. He takes to her laptop and after a few wrong guesses at passwords, he manages to reset them in order to log into her social media platforms – all of which our tellingly set to private.

I love the opening sequence to Searching which is like a love letter to Microsoft. David is documenting his family’s lives through photos and films and messages and so we get to see how this family lives and how Margot grew up. (I miss Microsoft now that I’m mainly on a Chromebook!)

David goes about making a detailed record of everyone he speaks to and after he has contacted everyone Margot has interacted with on social media – it seems remarkably easy to find phone numbers in America – he contacts the police.

He is assigned the decorated Detective Rosemary Vick, (Debra Messing) who he searches online to find an upstanding community-focused citizen who has worked with ex-offenders and children’s charities. She arrives with large dose of determination and an even larger team to leave no stone un-turned in the search for Margot ‘as a parent’ herself. She seems incredibly available to David on Skype at all times of the day. Not once does he call her in the regular way, until towards the end of the film.

The only odd line from a tech savvy David who is familiar with social media platforms that even I have not heard of is ‘what is tumblr?’ but it is forgiven as really, who is on Tumblr these days?

Slowly he begins to realise he doesn’t know his daughter and didn’t realise how much she had been affected by losing her mother, so lost was he in his own bereavement. So many people are implicated in her going missing as the film races through eliminating them from suspicion. At one point ‘live’ TV footage of volunteer members of the public searching for her on news channels makes it all very real. It’s the American way, where everyone needs to know exactly what’s happening at all times.

Searching is a film of our times and the story is wholly reliant on the internet.  Very much like us.

8/10

Seen on a preview, out late August 2018.

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