Hollywood Rewind | Searching: John Cho film is one-of-a-kind thriller

Directed by Aneesh Chaganty, Searching is a unique thriller about parent-child relationship, told in a wholly novel fashion. Only 102 minutes long, Searching is taut, tense and always on the target.

We live in a truly digital world. Cinema is often called the mirror of the society and if 100 years from now, people want to see how this technological evolution changed society, Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching (2018) is the film they should watch.
Everything we see in Searching is either through computers, smart phones or similar devices. When it came out four years ago, Searching blew the audience’s mind: ‘How could such a story be translated on screen, and so well too?’ Aneesh did it without compromising on the entertainment quotient of the film. This wholly digitised world that we saw before us was hundred per cent engaging. And to top it off, for the first time ever, we saw an Asian-American actor lead a thriller. A seemingly humble film in terms of its development, casting and budget, Searching was a massive commercial and critical success upon its release. The talented John Cho shone in every frame. He played a widowed David Kim who loses his wife to a terminal illness. He now shares a bland relationship with his teenage daughter who has been consistently lying to him about her whereabouts. And then one fine day, she disappears.
Nothing about Searching is conventional, not the casting, the crew members, the way it has been shot or even the form of thriller it tackles. It consistently throws an interesting sort of light on the parent-child relationship, how grief forms and develops differently in different people, and ultimately, it shows us the extent to which parents are willing to go for their children.
Only 102 minutes long, Searching is taut, tense and always on the target. John Cho as the distraught, sceptical but still somehow trusting father makes you root for him throughout the run of the movie. You feel his pain and anger and you want him to win. Once your protagonist is able to evoke that emotion in this kind of a setup, more than half the battle is won. Debra Messing as the messed up but efficient detective Rosemary Vick makes her presence felt in a big way, despite having a limited screen time. The editing by Nick Johnson and Will Merrick is superb, anything less or more than this would have spoiled the pace and the intimate feel of the movie. Interestingly, the editors of the first movie will be working as writers and directors of Searching 2; it was announced in 2019.
Hollywood Rewind: The Imitation Game | Bend it Like Beckham | Matilda | Mad Max:Fury Road | When a Man Loves a Woman | Inside Out | Django Unchained | Bridesmaids | Howl’s Moving Castle | A Simple Favor | How to Train Your Dragon | Freaky Friday | Disturbia | Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse | Free Willy | Carrie | Crash | Persepolis | The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants | Philadelphia | Mrs Doubtfire | Easy A | Romeo + Juliet | Coraline | Gone Girl | Starship Troopers | Bridget Jones’s Diary | Almost Famous | Inglourious Basterds | Beginners | Girl With a Pearl Earring | Juno | Nightcrawler | Little Miss Sunshine | Moana | The Sound of Music | Benny and Joon | Crimson Peak | The Holiday | My Blueberry Nights | The Help | Mission Impossible | Chef | Revolutionary Road | I’m Not There | Donnie Brasco | Sicario | Edge of Tomorrow | Spy Kids | 1998’s Godzilla | The Others | Phone Booth | Wild | Scream | The Godfather Part II | One Fine Day | True Romance | Little Women | Face-off | Pulp Fiction | Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon | The Age of Innocence | Mean Girls | Die Hard | Never Been Kissed | Citizen Kane | Kill Bill Volume I | Terminator 2 Judgment Day | Titanic | Heat | Home Alone | Jerry Maguire | Brief Encounter | The Truman Show | The Deer Hunter | The Shining | Clueless | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off | Blue Velvet | Taxi Driver | The Lord of the Rings I | Zero Dark Thirty | The Godfather | Say Anything | Warm Bodies | Bright Star | Malcolm X | Stardust | Red Eye | Notting Hill | Fargo | The Virgin Suicides | The Breakfast Club | Enchanted | Walk the Line | Blood Diamond | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Mortal Kombat | Bridges of Madison County | Edward Scissorhands | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | She’s Gotta Have It | Ever After | The Devil Wears Prada | The Matrix | Creed | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | Her | Dead Poets Society | Sleepless in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before Sunset | School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | Tangled | Meet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles
So if you have not seen Searching, now is the time. Small films like these sometimes make considerable noise upon release, but are soon forgotten by people. Let this be your chance to discover it if you haven’t already.
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Searching is streaming on Netflix.
PS: Also Hollywood, please give John Cho meatier roles. He deserves it.