Search is shockingly effective, not just in creating a sense of constant, palpable tension, but also in the way it pulls off authentic, effective emotional beats.
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As the style begins to wear out its welcome, the promise of a resolution and nifty twist keep things nimble. Like a well-crafted paperback, Search never commits the cardinal sin of being boring.
Searching is so smart about how we interact with computers that it's surprising how lame it is about moviemaking basics like characters and plot.
As nimble as Aneesh Chaganty is in presenting his main character's multi-faceted interaction with technology in the first hour, the film suddenly morphs into a generic and manipulative missing-person thriller.
Chaganty and co-writer Sev Ohanian deliver wonders on both the technical and narrative ends of Search, but editors Will Merrick and Nick Johnson do an astounding job as well.
Despite the specificity of its story and the manner in which its told, the issues at hand remain universal, including David’s struggle to connect with his child and the way paranoia can make even the best friends into the worst enemies.
For a film where every single scene is rigidly contained within a screen — framed by an iPhone FaceTime chat, a laptop exchange, TV image, home movie or security camera surveillance — Searching has a surprising sense of momentum.
Cutting to the emotional core of what social media says about us, the result is as much a time capsule of our relationship to (and reliance upon) modern technology as it is a cutting-edge digital thriller.
The movie’s arresting visual conceit has enough flexibility to sustain interest, even if the story’s twists and turns sometimes feel excessively fiendish.
Impressively, first-time filmmaker and former Google commercials creator Aneesh Chaganty has also made a real movie, the story of a family that morphs into a crime drama that gradually ratchets up the tension as all good thrillers must, one that’s well constructed and acted as well as novel in its storytelling techniques.