Whilst the rise of social media and mobile communications has had a huge impact on our daily lives, it has caused a whole host of problems for film-makers. Especially when they’re trying to make a contemporary crime thriller or horror. So much thought has to go into each scene. It’s hard to pull of a heist with GPS technology and CCTV or kill a bunch of teens when they all have several mobile devices. There have been a number of clever and inventive ways of tackling this problem. However, it’s not something Aneesh Chaganty seems to worry about. Indeed, in his latest film Searching he positively embraces the internet to make a compelling suspense drama.
Since the death of his wife (Sara Sohn) from cancer two years ago, David Kim’s (John Cho) relationship with his daughter Margot (Michelle La) has become increasingly distant. When she doesn’t come home one day, David realises that he knows absolutely nothing about her life or who her friends are. In a desperate attempt to discover what happened to Margot, with the aid of a friendly detective (Debra Messing) he sets about following her online footprint.
It’s a testament to Chaganty direction and Cho’s acting that Searching works so well. It turns out to be an incredibly smart decision to exploit social media, especially to do so in a way which is a match for any modern mystery or thriller. However, it’s the editing which makes it such a lean, tense and taut exercise. It’s an even more impressive feat when you consider it’s all done using iMacs. Searching is a thrilling, unpredictable and riveting film about a father trying to piece together the pieces of his daughter’s life.
Searching is released on DVD by Sony Pictures UK on 7 January.