Recently, a friend came to visit and brought his teenage daughter with him. For the entire two-week period, this young lady barely uttered a two words and her face stayed buried in her cell phone. For someone who seemed a little less secure about body image and her looks, the fear that she would ultimately become prey for some sick person preying on these types of young girls was a concerned I shared with her parent. Think about it. Our entires lives are played out ‘on screen’ via various devices. While some remain relatively private, others confess everything from their breakfast to every waking moment online.
In fact, earlier this year in Southern California, a young man was murdered by engaging in this very behavior. The person perpetrated that they were interested in a romantic relationship and coaxed him to a meeting point. He was never seen or heard from again until his body was discovered in a park bathroom. Unfortunately, this happens way too often and Searching sheds a spotlight on such unsavory behavior and what consequences come with it for all involved.
David (John Cho) and Pam (Sara John) Kim had the seemingly perfect life with their daughter Margot (Michelle La). As we are introduced and guided through their life via video chats, calendar entires, home movies shot on mobile phones and text messages, it seems their entire life is documented via technology. We are fly on the wall witnesses of this family’s happy early years and the darker days on the horizon. At the center of this tale is the seemingly sympathetic, no-nonsense Detective Vick (Debra Messing). When Margot goes missing, Detective Vick is brought on to investigate and the baffling mystery of her disappearance and the reasons why.
Searching puts a spotlight on how much more difficult the parent/child relationship has become as a result of social media. it’s not like the old days where you can look out window and see you child playing or hanging out on the block. Your parents knew who your friends were, their names and where they live. With the invention of the internet and social media. This has become increasingly challenging at best.
John Cho is a father on the edge and he plays the part with the heart, sensitivity and emotional unraveling that a father would experience under these circumstances. He is not about to go down without a fight when it comes to finding his daughter and his parental intuition leads him to places he never thought he’d have to go. Debra Messing is a marvelously, menacing angel as Detective Vick, the parent who will protect her child by any means necessary. By the end of this film you want to slap her through the screen.
Just when you think you have this one figured out, a twist jumps out at you that makes you want to yell at the screen! Kinda like when you watch Edward Norton in the thriller ‘Primal Fear.’ Written and Directed flawlessly by Aneesh Chaganty and produced by Sony Pictures, Searching hits theaters on August 31.