Ever wondered what it would be like to challenge yourself into telling a story using only device screens? With gadgets being a huge part of our daily lives, honestly, some have made it practically their lives as all manner of information can be stored right in your pocket. Well look no further as Columbia Pictures’ new critically acclaimed film “Searching” began when two young filmmakers in Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian sought to tell a hyper-modern thriller told exclusively via gadget screens.
Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Searching” tells the story of David Kim (John Cho) whose 16-year-old daughter goes missing. A local investigation is opened and a detective (Debra Messing) is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.
“We wanted to make a movie that we wanted to watch,” explains Chaganty. “Our favorite kinds of movies are gripping and emotional with a lot of suspense and intrigue, and from day one, we wanted this to be a story where you would just fall into the mystery and almost forget the way it’s being told.”
“Audiences will recognize themselves in every click and movement of the mouse, every notification, every sound, everything that we now use to experience everyday life in a way that is also compelling and cinematic,” says Bekmambetov. “This approach, we hope, helps the audience relate to the character in an intimate way – you see how the character is writing something, deleting it, then writing something else, debating whether to save or delete a cherished memory – traditional filmmaking relies on techniques like voiceover to do that and to me that seems less real and certainly less visual. Based on our previous screen-life movies, it does seem that audiences are ready to embrace this new form of cinema. But of course, it only works if you have a filmmaker who can create meaningful characters and tell great stories and discover something emotionally.”
“Ever since I picked up a camera I’ve always liked films that told stories we know in a way that we don’t expect. Searching takes that to a whole new level. But when we were filming, I wasn’t thinking about the novelty of the approach. When you’re in it, you’re not thinking you might be doing something groundbreaking, you’re just doing the best work you can, trying to be true to the characters and story. But every once in a while, during this process, I would take a step back and think ‘what we are making could be really, really cool,’” sums up Chaganty.
I don’t know about you but this movie is a must watch, and with an 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you can bet that this will be a sure fire blockbuster. Catch Searching as it opens in Philippine cinemas on September 19, only from Columbia Pictures!