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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 23, 2024

By the seventh inning in game two of Texas A&M baseball’s Men’s College World Series championship series against Tenneseee, it looked...

Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
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Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Stylistic risks in ‘Searching’ pay off in a big way

Photo by Creative Commons

John Cho stars in Searching, where his character hopes to find his missing daughter through her laptop.

“Searching” is an experiment in modern filmmaking and realism. The entire movie takes place through the perspective of computer screens. Imagine your laptop screen became the size of a theater screen – every movement of the mouse, every keystroke, every text message and FaceTime call projected on the wall and used to tell a story. That’s what you get when you see “Searching.”
If that sounds ambitious, it certainly is. I went into the film skeptical that they would be able to pull off such a daunting feat. But by the end of the movie, I was more than convinced. First-time director Aneesh Chaganty told a brilliant story through a wholly unique and exciting new medium. Telling the entire narrative through computer screens allowed for the use of some ingenious symbols and several positively heart-wrenching moments that couldn’t have been captured through more traditional methods.
The opening sequence, which I found reminiscent of “Up’s” legendary tragic beginning, utilizes saved home videos to provide background for the story to come. Through the eyes of a handheld camera, we watch the protagonist David, played by John Cho, and his family as his daughter Margot grows up. We see a series of first day of school photos and watch as Margot’s mom, David’s wife, struggles with her health. By the time the actual story starts, the film has already subjected its audience to some of the most emotional moments in David’s life and it does so in a way that allows you to really feel the significance of these events. It’s hard to explain exactly why, but looking through the family’s computer screens is one of the most bizarrely personal and emotional perspectives I’ve ever seen used in a film.
The movie’s methods are by far the most fascinating thing about it, but “Searching” does also tell an interesting tale of mystery. When Margot goes missing, the film follows David in his frantic efforts to investigate her disappearance. Most of the dramatic scenes take place through FaceTime video calls, and the camera alternates between zooming in on David and the person he’s talking to. The mystery unfolds dramatically, and although it might not be the most intricate story ever constructed, the raw emotion and the medium through which the story is told absolutely make it a fascinating and suspenseful experience.
I have to give credit to John Cho, who acted magnificently through what must have been very difficult shots to film. Most of his time on screen, Cho is sitting down, staring into a webcam. We hear his voice and see his face, but the shots tended to restrict his ability to use body language. Despite this, he did an excellent job of portraying the despair and guilt of a parent who has lost his child. Cho was absolutely astounding, and the emotion he brought to his performance really added something special to an already very special film.
I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those who haven’t seen it yet. All I can say is that “Searching” is a masterfully edited, expertly acted, beautifully written story that everyone should see, as much for its groundbreaking ingenuity as for its thrillingly emotional mystery.
Keagan Miller is a psychology junior and life and arts reporter for The Battalion.

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