Recently, the world was dealt the hand of losing another talented musician and rapper Mac Miller due to a drug overdose. People come in and out of our lives through death, loss of connection, and/or lack of communication. The film Searching really hits home on how loss can affect us as it focuses on a typical Asian family living in America during the technology age as the teenage daughter (Margot) goes missing mysteriously one evening after a study group. The father (David Kim) desperately searches through emails, social media, and friends to find out that maybe he didn’t really know his daughter at all.
The story was predominately shot through a computer camera, chat messages, live-streaming, video recordings, and social media platforms such as Facebook. I think the director really focused in on our obsession with social media and how technology is the center of human interaction. The fear, paranoia, and hurt that can form when people can hide behind screens and make unruly comments and lie and think no repercussions can come back at them. The mask you can wear behind a camera or through a chat room can change your perception of what those people’s lives are like. Who they are? How they think? Even their motives for being online and doing what they are doing.
Searching shows what technology has done to our lives – the good and the bad. It helps to create a mask, a mask which Margot hid behind for so long after her mother passed away from cancer. Putting on a brave face for her father and moving past the pain and insecurity she felt. She talked to people online that didn’t know her story, she took solace in the people that would let her vent without judgment, she distanced herself from most of the people that use to be important to her, and she became agreeable and compliant. Margot became a loner because she didn’t know how to deal with the pain and in turn, it brought her into an even darker situation.
I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but Debra Messing’s character (detective in the Margot’s missing person’s case) has some skeletons in her closet. Bravo Messing for a great performance! The character, Detective Vick is very complex in her thought process on what is right. The script is on point and the best advice that I can give you while you are watching the film is really listen to the dialogue, read everything that is typed, and pay attention to each character’s actions. You get to understand their personal thoughts and feelings that they don’t share with anyone. Their interactions, images, and tone of voice when they are talking to one another are vital to the story. Attention to detail is key to solving the mystery.