REVIEW: Searching revolutionizes filmmaking tactics

You won’t see another film like Searching this fall, this year or in the last decade.

Shot guerilla-style from Smartphones, computer screen perspectives and more, it is one of the most immersive film experiences I’ve ever witnessed.

The film follows a father, David, and his daughter Margot as they deal with the fractured relationship they share following the death of the family matriarch from cancer.

The fragile bond is tested when Margot doesn’t come home one night. Originally feeling she’s pushing her limits and testing him, David reacts poorly.

But as more details come to light through her social media, phone records and other digital tracemarks, he and the detective on her case realize there may be something far more sinister going on.

David also realizes his daughter Margot just may not be the girl he thought she was.

It’s an intense, frustrating, gut-wrenching film. The performances are above-board all around.

Chiefly, John Cho, known for playing part of the nonsensical duo Harold & Kumar in that stoner franchise, brings a dramatic heft to his role as an ailing father.

He’s joined (through footage mostly) by Michelle La, who brings a sensitivity and wonderment to the mystifying Margot.

But perhaps most surprising is Will & Grace star Debra Messing, who knocks it out as a detective who lets her emotions get the best of her as she investigates the case.

Not since Gone Girl have I been so shocked by the twists and turns of a thriller, and not since Pixar’s UP! have I cried within the first ten minutes of a film like I did here.

It’s one of the most entertaining and authentic films you’ll see this year.

5/5 Stars

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