Analysis

searching

More than a clever filmmaking technique

A Complete Story

While interesting in terms of visuals and scene construction, searching's real power is in its comprehensive and complete narrative argument.

The story of searching consists of two parents protecting their children from emotional trauma.

One parent will do anything to change and adapt to whatever situation arises, manufacturing whatever lies are needed to keep her child from facing consequences.

The other parent chooses instead to focus on the child—this parent adapts and changes his behavior so as to not subject the child to anymore pain or suffering.

The first parent is driven by a Narrative Method of Change.

The second parent is motivated by a Narrative Method of Self-Aware.

The second is cognizant of the individual—aware that there is a self, and seeks to focus on the well-being of that self to the exclusion of everything else.

The first parent’s proclivity and steadfastness towards adapting at a moment’s notice is eventually what drives the second parent to become more aware of things external to the self—

—and to make his child aware that her deceased mother would have been proud of her.

The Storyform of searching

These two perspectives set important key Storypoints within the Storyform matrix:

  • Main Character Motivation of Self-Aware
  • Influence Character Motivation of Change
  • Main Character Approach of Be-er
  • Influence Character Approach of Do-er

Add in these additional key Storypoints:

  • Main Character Mindset of Linear
  • Story Driver of Action
  • Story Continuum of Spacelock
  • Story Outcome of Success
  • Story Judgment of Good

And Subtxt generates a single Storyform with this Premise:

Premise

You can realize someone's intentions when you get out of your way, and abandon being self-absorbed

A powerful and unfortunately necessary argument relevant for this day and age.

Relationship Story Throughline

Since the original draft of this analysis (circa January 2019), our collective understanding of the Relationship Story Throughline concept in Dramatica developed into something much more sophisticated.

Previously, the Relationship Story Throughline was always seen as existing only within the relationship between the Main Character and the Influence Character. In the Spring of 2019, we finally realized that this counter to the objective Plot of a narrative (the Objective Story Throughline) could be any number of relationships (although, primarily always between the Main Character and another).

Looking at the Storyform for searching in Subtxt, one sees this to be the case. The Relationship Story Throughline is the relationship between father and daughter and illustrated beautifully with the visual image of the desktop computer screen.

In the beginning, the desktop is cluttered with an array of images and folders (Relationship Story Condition of Chaos). By the time the film resolves, the desktop is clean and orderly (Relationship Story Adjustment of Order)--a signal that the troublesome relationship between father and daughter have been set in the direction of a peaceful resolve.