Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

My Review of SEARCHING

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Searching, rated PG-13
****

Searching is a suspenseful, innovative, well-written and acted thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a teenage daughter and her father’s efforts to find her. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.
Much of the film takes place on sites accessed on an electronic device. We watch along as the lead character accesses the sites desperately looking for information that will allow him to find his daughter. The film is directed by Aneesh Chaganty and written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian.
The film begins by showing us that the tight-knit Kim family, consisting of father David, played by John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle), wife Pamela, played by  (Furious 7, Twin Peaks), and daughter Margot, played by Michelle La in her first major role.

***SPOILER ALERT***
Soon however, Pamela is diagnosed with cancer, and after an initial remission, the cancer returns and Pamela dies. Father and daughter must carry on, and though it looks like they have a good trusting relationship, David will soon find out that he doesn’t know his daughter very well at all.
Sixteen-year-old Margot tells her father that she will be at an all-night study group to prepare for an upcoming exam. Although he thinks that’s odd, he trusts her. When he gets up in the morning, he notices that he has missed phone and FaceTime calls from Margot. When he tries to get ahold of her he gets no response.
As time goes on he begins to get increasingly worried until he finally reports Margot as a missing person to the police. He is contacted by Detective Rosemary Vick, played by eight-time Golden Globe nominee Debra Messing (Will & Grace, The Starter Wife).  Vick is compassionate and is also a parent, and is determined to help David find Margot. She encourages him to reach out to Margot’s friends to get clues as to where Margot might be.
David realizes that he really doesn’t know any of Margot’s friends. He then begins accessing her text messages and social media sites – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  As he does, David (and the audience) are pulled into aspects of Margot’s life that her father was completely unaware of. At one point, he reads questionable text messages between his brother Peter, played by Joseph Lee and Margot. As each day goes by, the probability of finding Margot alive decreases as we see the local San Jose, California media cover the developing story.
**********************

Searching has a number of good twists and turns in the plot. John Cho is excellent as the increasingly desperate father searching for his missing daughter. Debra Messing delivers a strong performance as the compassionate detective firmly committed to finding Margot.
Content concerns include some adult language, including the abuse of God’s name, some violence, and sexual references.
Themes include family, fear, deception, father-daughter relationships and perseverance.
Searching is an excellent movie that is creatively filmed like no other film you’ve ever seen. It is original, never predictable, tense throughout, well-written and acted.

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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