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Searching—An Ambiguous Movie Title, But An Eye-Opening Experience

September 28, 2018

Searching, a 2018 movie directed by Aneesh Chaganty, is a haunting mystery capturing technology’s role in tracking down a missing person which uncovers that a father does not really know his own daughter.

If I could describe this movie in a single word, I would characterize it as emotional. The emotional roller coaster metaphor never really resonated with me until now. The characters and plot were relatable. The acting was believable, so I connected with and could understand the feelings of each character as they attempted to live with the tragedy of their missing family member and friend. The constant stress felt by the father and the investigators mimicked my experience as a viewer, which is a telling characteristic of a great movie. I was confronted with feelings of sadness, happiness, fear, and shock in less than two hours.

Looking back, I made plans to see this movie on a whim, and I was hesitant. The title and story felt ambiguous, and this movie was not on my radar. I do not enjoy scary movies, so the category of a “thriller” was daunting. Surprisingly, the movie was rumored to take place entirely on a computer – another red flag. I thought to myself, “Great, this movie is going to be a real headache.” After some nagging, my friends convinced me to see Searching.

The dreaded day was finally here. I expected this movie to be freaky, so I went in skeptical.

When buying movie tickets, my friends and I were lucky enough to be placed in the second row of the massive movie theater. The movie began, and I waited to see for myself whether this movie lived up to the hype.

Despite hearing that the movie was worth seeing, my concern was unwavering until the movie picked up. I am happy to admit that I overreacted; I was too quick to make an assumption. What was I so terrified of?

I generally shy away from one-dimensional, predictable movies, but this was far from boring and predictable. It was amazing to recognize that a film could be as anxiety-inducing as Searching was. I was left thinking, “What just happened?” This movie deserved its elevated rating; Rotten Tomatoes really knows what’s up.

My experience with Searching was ironically enjoyable. It depicted the common human experience of searching for truth in a unique way. The truth can often lead people in the wrong direction, and can cause them to question everything.

In the future, I hope I refrain from making assumptions as rapidly as I sometimes do. Just like people, movies and experiences can surprise us. Maybe it is best to silence our preconceived  notions and just live in the moment. Not all positive experiences occur in the way or when we expect them to.

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