How many of you have ever deleted your Internet history? I'm sure that half of you would say never while the other half would claim "all the time". Our computers may hold all of our work and data, but they also contain some of our biggest secrets and even curiosities. What people are worried about is that it'll somehow get out to the public. There are a lot of security programs and computer settings that everyone will setup, but I simply tell people to consider how much your willing to share on your social media platforms. Because we live in an era where we want more followers then friends, many of us do make the mistake to giving away too much about ourselves.
With today's movie, we get an understanding of the double edge sword that is the Internet. Yes, we now have a bigger address book of people we can reach. Yes, we can connect further with those with common interests. And yes, we can even use those resources to make ourselves smarter. Unfortunately, there is a lot of people that are willing to take advantage of those that are more naive. That fear is put into motion in Searching.
The majority of the movie is all set within computer monitors, smartphones and occasional news footage that all deals with a kidnapping. Software designer David Kim (played by John Cho) sets everything in motion when his teenage daughter Margot (played by Michelle La) goes missing after failing to show up for piano lessons, school, and even a friends camping trip. Of course he calls the police and detective Rosemary Vick (played by Debra Messing) is assigned to help. While doing her work in the real world, she encourages David to look through his daughters digital devices and social media platforms for clues.
Some of those things include going through her Facebook and contacting each "Friend", only to find out she wasn't really close to her. Further exploration into her computer and email reveal that she's been transferring money to an unknown source and that she feels disconnected from her father after the death of her mother from cancer. David continues to pander Detective Vick and his brother Peter (played be Joseph Lee) for answers as he climbs further into platforms where his daughter was on. Not only does he discover how needy was to make a connection but just how her relationships really were with classmates and family.
An entire movie that's told from a computer is nothing new (see me review from the horror film Unfriended), but is alright as long as the story is engaging. Searchingis not only a tense thriller, but is a fun mystery to follow along with John Cho. What could have been easy marketing for Facebook and Google is all calculated and feels natural as a clue to each question and mark for the victim. While I'm not a forensics investigator, this is something that I'm sure real detectives deal with everyday in a world where we communicate online as much, if not more, as the real world.
Given how raw the material is, you really need an actor that's going to feel real and John Cho is just the right man. Having matured long since his days as Harold, the White Castle seeking pot smoker, he now carries a lot of the burden and terror a lot of parents have with children going into a platform where anything could happen. Even if he's not as competent as his daughter with computers and social media websites, he still trudges though, looking through every digital crack just for any lead for his daughter. Has I been in the same boat, I too would be going through my children's pages and even pulling out a credit card to pay to deep search.
In the spirit of good mysteries, where Searchingis the strongest is what you don't know. It does the smart thing of not only having a good twist, but several twists that kept throwing me off on what was happening. Once everything is spelled out, it really does make sense and you respect more on how everything was cover rather then how it was found. It feels strong enough to be a modern day Sherlock Holmes tale.
I'll give this five Gmail login pages out of five. I'm not kidding when I say that searching may be one of the best mystery thrillers I've seen in a while. This reminds me how well these need to be built in order to keep deceiving it's audience. We both care enough to want to see justice, but are rarely sure if we want to know. Give it a watch and then recheck your data online.