Searching (2018)

IMDB: [PG-13]Β After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.
Rating: [10] πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šUpdate

You’ll be spinning as you click and search along side David as he desperately tries to find his missing daughter Margot. There have been more than a handful of screen-view style films but this one is seamless and stunning. The atmosphere is calm, tense, frustrating, emotional, and dizzying all displayed in pixels. It’s one that will leave you second-guessing everything.Β 

Update: On second watch, it’s still fantastic and like watching an entirely new film.

What I Loved:
Similar to found footage or documentary style films, screen-share style cinema has to be well-done for me to tolerate it. Sometimes it can be headache-inducing. However this one is the best I’ve seen so far.Β  There was true beauty in the way it was captured. Even using a screensaver as an ethereal landscape. It feels full and realistic. It creates a wealth of history in the background tabs, unread emails, pop ups, and desktop files in a way that informs us about the world our characters inhabit.

Searching deals with complex emotions like love, death, and family in an astonishingly tangible way. Being in that near-30 year old age, I felt both the angst and awkwardness of Margot plus the love and complexities of parenting from David.

It’s like a true crime series that we’re involved in from start to finish. It expects us to pay attention and become detectives along with David and the police. It’s begging for a second (or third?!) viewing. Put your phone and computer down so you can track everything in this one!

But most of all this one kept shocking me. The story is so well done. The plot and acting will leave you breathless.

What I Didn’t Love:
There’s very little that I could mark down as a negative. (My notes actually lack any X’s.) Because this is, you know, a film, there are more video calls and cameras than seems true-to-life. I would also say the pacing gets very fast in the end while slower to start. While this is a very minor note, a few parts dragged just slightly longer than I would have hoped. But we’re talking a few seconds to a minute here and there.

“I know my daughter. She didn’t run away.”

The End – or is it?

Spoilers: Click to Reveal

This one is really, really incredible. So I do hope you GO WATCH IT before reading any spoilers.

However, I myself like to see what people thought of the entire movie- not just spoiler free reviews. And oh boy this one is a doozy of twists!

Quick summary: Pam – Margot’s mom and David’s wife dies of cancer. Two years later and Margot didn’t show up at home after study break. David contacts the police. Rosemary Vick is assigned to the case. They initially think she ran away, then they think she was abducted, then they get a confession from a sexual offender who says he killed her. Story over? NOPE!

Turns out Detective Vick’s son – Robert – had an online friendship with Margot, his former classmate. He catfished her and Margot had given him (or given “Hannah”) $2500 to pay for “hospital expenses” for “Hannah’s” mom. Robert wasn’t after money and tried to return it to Margot while coming clean about his identity and a chase ensued. Robert pushed Margot down a ravine. Thinking she’s dead, he calls his mom. Rosemary covers it up and takes over the “Case”. Turns out, Margot survived, ya’ll.

There were SO many points that had me REALLY surprised here. It’s like they knew all the twists in most thrillers/crime/mysteries and threw them at us just to say, “HAHA! NOPE! Gotcha!”

I really didn’t see that full story coming. I did have some suspicion about Rosemary. She seemed a bit robotic and quick do dismiss David. And of course, there are only so many characters in the film and we slowly eliminate them.

But the emotion in this one also won me over. The beginning is reminiscent of UP, so get your tissues. There are multiple times I cried or was overjoyed. Even the happy ending brought on tears. And I was NOT prepared for this much emotion right now but boy did I need it.

This one will keep me thinking for days.