[REVIEW] The Silent Sea (Netflix) – A “mix” about science fiction, humanity and the environment


“Overall, The Silent Sea is still an experimental step for Korean cinema as well as Choi Hang Yong in the sci-fi genre.”

The Silent Sea starring Bae Doona and Gong Yoo is set in the future, when the world is facing a water crisis, leading to many deadly diseases. Because of the lack of natural resources, people are segregated by class and are given unequal distribution of water. Faced with a grim reality, the film’s characters all have their own motivations to step on board a spaceship, fly to the Moon to get a secret specimen that the Korean government wants.

Adapted from the 2014 short film, The Sea of ​​Tranquility , the Netflix series continues to be directed by Choi Hang Yong. This is considered a big challenge for director Choi when adapting a 37-minute short work, because the original seems to be more artistic and emotional than The Silent Sea , which is more about the action-horror field.

The Silent Sea Led by Han Yoon Jae (Gong Yoo), biologist Song Ji An (Bae Doona), Ryu Tae Seok (Lee Joon) – a senior engineer. The remaining characters include Hong Ga Young (Kim Sun Young) – the team doctor, Gong Soo Hyuk (Lee Moo Saeng) head of the security department and Kim Sun (Lee Sung Wook) – a spaceship pilot.

If entering the abandoned lunar base sounds like a bad idea, the crew themselves have no idea where they’re going. Instead of using lengthy explanations to explain the background of each crew member, Choi Hang Yong chose to flashback to let us better understand why Han Yoon Jae and Doctor Song Ji An decided to join. mission even though they themselves know death can come at any time.

The specimen detail of unknown origin does a perfect job portraying terror to the group and the sudden deaths of its members “seeds” fear in each individual as well as the audience. The pain of losing a comrade, speculation about strange creatures like fish, and specimens growing in the heart, all take place within the suffocating confines of a dark, winding corridor with no way out.

The Silent Sea is a science fiction-themed movie, the second universe after Space Sweepers. Not only that, it also belongs to the horror genre that is quite heavy and integrates lessons about environmental protection and humanity into the film. As a result, The Silent Sea had a rather weak script, but fortunately, talented actors like Gong Yoo, Bae Doona and the rest of the stars saved Choi Hang Yong’s work.

While audiences should expect some degree of heroic sacrifice for the greater good of humanity, The Silent Sea lacks such significant parts. Although the crew was sent to the Moon in government suits, the political side did not “shine” at all. There is even a moment in the film where Kim Jae Sun (Heo Sung Tae), a resource manager on Earth, reveals that he is being suppressed by the government, afraid of shutting down his career if he does not want them.

In addition to the two main actors, Lee Joon (who plays Ryu Tae Seok) returning to the screen for the first time since 2017 has done so well his role from action scenes to emotions that the audience forgot that Lee Joon used to be a singer. Thankfully, The Silent Sea ‘s real spark lies in the cinematography and set design. With The Silent Sea , the crew was able to demonstrate how good a sci-fi movie production can be.

Overall, The Silent Sea is still an experimental step of Korean cinema as well as Choi Hang Yong in the sci-fi genre. The work also has a different theme compared to Squid Game and Hellbound , so the comparison is quite lame. With The Silent Sea, the land of kimchi ended a brilliant year, leaving a bold mark on the world movie map.


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