Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when the world of Grey, a self-labeled technophobe, is turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant.
Early 1970s. Four strangers check in at the El Royale Hotel. The hotel is deserted, staffed by a single desk clerk. Some of the new guests' reasons for being there are less than innocent and some are not who they appear to be.
After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.
I just got out of seeing Searching, a "screen life" movie written and directed by Aneesh Chaganty, and I can't overstate how much I enjoyed it. Why I liked this movie can be summed up quite succinctly with four simple words: compelling story, engaging presentation. Allow me to elaborate.This movie has an incredibly well written story. It starts with a heartfelt sequence of home movies that endears you to all of our main characters in minutes, quite similar to the beginning of Up (2009). It then unfolds a mystery, layer by layer, until you are quite literally on the edge of your seat, in anticipation for the final reveal. At no point along the way does it ever really slow down or get dull. Everything that happens is meaningful and contributes to either the narrative or the tone. A big part of the story working so well has to do with the excellent performance from John Cho. The entire premise of the story hinges upon his performance as he is the emotional core of it all. Without him, this movie might not be nearly as good. In addition to having a tight, well-written screenplay, Searching also is presented in an incredibly fascinating way. Chaganty uses the restrictions of "screen life" to his favor by creating inventive and new ways to present information. In doing so, he truly draws the viewer into the perspective of John Cho's character as everything is essentially shown from his point of view. This heightens both the tension as we learn things at the same time he does, as well as makes his character that much more empathetic. 2018 has had a pretty stellar summer in terms of the quality of movies that we've seen, and Searching thankfully doesn't break the trend. It wouldn't surprise me if this becomes the sleeper hit of the summer. It's quite good. Do yourself a favor and go see it!
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