Searching - a thriller for the social media age

John Cho in Searching
John Cho in Searching

It’s always good to see writers and directors trying something new.

And Searching certainly has a novel way of setting out a story.

It’s all done via what you can see with the help of a laptop or a phone.

So Google searches, Facebook and YouTube, are utilised, along with news clips and even security footage.

All of this takes us on a journey following a missing girl.

David Kim (played by John Cho - Sulu in the current Star Trek film franchise) is at the heart of the story.

We watch as he and his wife start a family but then along comes a personal tragedy.

Still trying to come to terms with his grief, one night his daughter goes missing.

As Kim searches through Facebook and her emails etc he comes to realise her life isn’t quite as straightforward as he thought.

A police inspector, played by Debra Messing, joins the case as the search becomes more frantic.

Aneesh Chaganty, director and co-writer, in his first feature film, keeps the action pretty tight and even the early family scenes are just brief clips - much in keeping with social media.

Cho and Messing are pretty good in their roles but the nature of the film style means there’s not a lot of depth to the characters.

Plus, and it may well be like this in America, David Kim seems to have free rein early on to question people and do his own investigation.

But overall this is a good taut thriller for the 21st Century, although in five years or less we may be chuckling at the level of technology used, such is the way it develops.

Film details: Searching (12A) 102mins - 4 out of 5 stars

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Starring: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol