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Searching  : A Techie-Mystery
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Friday, August 31, 2018
Aneesh Chaganty
John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee

This is worth cheering. Indian-origin director Aneesh Chaganty uses the refreshingly different format of unspooling a mystery story completely through the computer screen. It’s not a surprise when you learn that Aneesh was a techie who made content for Google before turning filmmaker.


An entire introduction of father David, mother Pam and daughter Margot is made through social media with each one posting pictures, videos and messages that establish the warmth between mother and daughter before it turns into a father-daughter story.


Aneesh uses his chosen format cleverly as a thin wall springs up between college-going Margot and her dad. And when she goes missing, it’s her digital footprint that David learns to access to crack the case along with the best detective on the beat. The satnav throws up suspects and stuff that David learns about his daughter even as he moves closer to tracking her down.


Where Aneesh scores is that he makes right use of his chosen format. The structure doesn’t hamper the narrative which retains essential sentiments, recasts equations in various relationships and remembers to have enough twists, turns and surprises to keep the suspense alive practically till the end.


It’s also interesting that an Asian-American cast, not Indian, is in the lead without harping on their ethnicity.


John Cho as anxious David, Sara Son as Pamela who makes an early exit but leaves her imprint in the lives of her husband and her daughter, and Michelle La as Margot with her own secrets, are all well cast. Altogether, definitely watchable.   


Verdict: For a suspense film in a savvy format that weaves in family equations, Searching gets a 3* rating.


Direction: 3.5/5
Story: 3/5

Screenplay: 3/5/5
Dialogues: 2.5/5

Music: 2/5


Reviewed by

Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author
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