A film for the next generation
The other night I watched Searching, and as well as being a great film, it taught me a lot about the next generation.
Now, this film is unusual to say the least. It is a great story about a missing girl, nothing new there. but what is unusual about it is that it is shot from the point-of-view of smartphones and computer screens. The film follows a father trying to find his missing 16-year-old daughter with the help of a police detective . Also, it is the first mainstream Hollywood thriller headlined by an Asian-American actor.
It certainly takes a while to get use to the flicking back and forth from computer screens, webcam footage and smartphones, later jumping to news coverage and police footage. It was not a film that you can miss a beat on, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever had to concentrate so hard on watching a film..
What I found super-interesting about it is that I was concentrating so hard that I missed most of the twists and foreshadowing as to who really did it. Normally, I have most plots of mysteries and suspense films nailed, picking up on small clues. In this film I couldn’t. However, my 21-year-old daughter had no problem and proudly stated how she had figured it all out. And without a beat I said to her, “Yes, but you are from a generation that is used to processing a large amount of information at once; I am not!”
And that is when I got it; this film is like watching or at least for a moment seeing how young people consume content and what its like for them. And the ease at which they deal with all this information is outstanding.
Apart from the obvious uniqueness of this film it also touches on topics such as grief, the parent/teen relationship, drug use, on-line stalking, lying to parents and the dangers of on-line relationships.
A really great film to watch with any young people I feel, and some great conversations to be had afterwards.