Searching is a 2018 technological thriller starring John Cho. The film follows the character David Kim as he searches for his missing daughter.
Possessing a huge reveal, the movie has an ending with a lot to unpack and throughout this article, I will be discussing Searching’s ending in full detail. There will be heavy spoilers so it may be worth skipping this for now if you want to go in with fresh eyes.
With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and this is my Ending Explained video for Searching.
After losing his wife to Cancer, David Kim has become a highly possessive single parent. The constant worry of his child isn’t helped by the fact that she goes missing without a trace. Seeking aid from the police does little to quell his anxiety when it is decided by Detective Vick, who has been assigned to the case, that she is likely just a runaway.
Throughout the film, we follow David as he investigates the disappearance and the movie becomes the keyboard warriors version of Taken. David discovers that his daughter, Margot, too was highly affected by the death of her mother and this has turned her into a loner which adds weight to the fact that she may have fled on her own accord.
Red herrings are thrown in such as a fake ID and misleading camera footage but David doesn’t give up in the search. Going so far as to even track his daughter’s car to a lake where he discovers her wrecked car. Believing she is dead, David holds a memorial but then his suspicions arise once more when one of the screen names he linked to his daughter returns.
By the end of the movie, we learn that it has in fact been Detective Vick who has been at the centre of the disappearance of Margot. She has enacted the disappearance in order to provide cover for her son who is revealed to be her kidnapper. Vick’s son was a close friend of David’s daughter growing up and through his knowledge of her he concocted a catfish character that she confided in. Similar to the stories we see with Nev and Max on MTV, Vick had lied about family illness in order to extort money out of Margot, but after feeling guilty decided to come clean.
Luring her to a lake, Vick reveals himself to Margot which has a negative outcome. Panicking, Vick attacked Margot and with the help of his mother, attempted to murder her. Margot survived the ordeal and due to her father’s persistence was able to be found.
Personally I think the film does a fantastic job of displaying the possessiveness that people gain after facing loss. Both parents in the movie attempt to do everything within their power to protect and look after their child and this leads to the extremes of their personalities coming to the forefront. David is willing to go above and beyond to seek out his daughter much in the same way that Detective Vick is willing to participate in a heinous crime to protect her son.
This shows how loss leads to a greater love and appreciation of what we but on the flip side showcases that it can have effects on the ones we are trying to protect. Both Margot and Vick are highly messed up individuals psychologically due to the fact that they have never really had to be accountable for their actions due to the way their parents act.
To me this creates highly complex characters and I completely agree with all the high praise that Searching is currently getting. It’s a film like no other that takes a unique perspective on disappearances and I highly recommend that you go and see it.