Screen life is a new genre coming to the big screen and new gimmick people are using to push the envelope with creativity in film. Though it could be thought of as a fad that can go away easily, this film executes the technique wonderfully. I was fully immersed into the story where I forgot I was looking at a screen after a while. The film has a great visual language that visually encapsulates the tone of the film in the first five minutes of where the characters are emotionally using screens. It was very similar to the concept similar the beginning of ‘Up’.
John Cho really does his job carrying this movie as the main character. You can relate to him in his struggle to find his daughter by any means necessary. It’s a very human story that you are left guessing what happened to his daughter throughout the film. The added benefit of the screens is that the audience can play along and try to solve the mystery along with the main character. You’re able to build a list of suspects and try to decipher if they are the perpetrator. The film does a good job of keeping you guessing, you think you know who is behind his daughters disappearance but it changes.
I didn’t know her. I didn’t know my daughter.
I have to give kudos to Debra Messing for her performance in the film. Her role is very subtly played. I liked her characters motivations and what she had to do to perform the role. The writing and directing by Aneesh Chaganty can’t be commended enough. He was able to make this genre work without it being a horror film or it being over the top. He made the computer screens a character in themself by making the movements of the mouse a characters emotions on screen. The editing of how the scenes are constructed on screen has to be commended. They did a great job in making everything compressible in how they put it together in the editing room in creating their own environment.
I don’t have very many faults with the film. The only issues I had was just a small bit of clean up relating to the perpetrator’s plan, a part of it felt a little messy.I would definitely recommend checking this out when it comes available on home video & streaming. It is definitely worth your time — maybe even one of the best of the year.