Silent Sea review: the thirst trap
With the worldwide success of Squid game, it’s no surprise that Netflix is once again trying to clinch gold with a Korean drama. The latest is a dystopian thriller starring Squid gameown Gong Yoo. In our review of The silent sea (고요 의 바다), we will discuss the deep questions it raises. Queries like is this our future? How far would we go to save humanity? And are they really going to make me watch Gong Yoo play another sad, dying daddy?
This film takes place in the near future and dry
image via Netflix
Before arriving at Silent Sea review, let’s talk about the plot. It is 2021. We are still in the midst of an unprecedented time, praying for a single precedent moment. Wait, no, that’s not it. In the not so distant future, the planet is in great difficulty. Apparently, humanity has not avoided the climate crisis, as desertification is widespread. Food is scarce, but nothing is as scarce or precious as water. It is now essentially a luxury item, which the government is rationing based on your status.
Amid it all, the South Korean government assigns a crew to undertake a mysterious mission to an abandoned moon base. The base has remained empty since an “accident” which killed all of its resident employees. The crew, headed by Captain Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo), have a deceptively simple mission. They need to get a sample.
I can hear you ask, a sample of what? Yeah, here’s the thing. Government officials overseeing this mission, including Director Choi (Gil Hae-yeon) and Chief Kim Jae-sun (Heo Sung-tae), say they do not know. Hardware information has been lost. It sounds perfectly believable and I’m sure it will be okay.
Somewhere beyond The sea (silent)
Would you believe that things are going wrong? I know, it’s shocking. Either way, the problems start almost immediately after they land. Well, technically it starts when they land, because they don’t land until they crash.
And while collecting at least one sample from God Knows which would be a sufficient challenge, there are other difficulties. These include, for example, the fact that their communication link disconnects as soon as they get there. Oh, and also, there are all the bodies.
image via Netflix
This is particularly worrying for Dr. Song Ji-an (Bae Doona), as his sister was the chief researcher at Balhae, the moon base. She and Director Choi withheld this little piece of information from Captain Han and the rest of the crew, but it’s important. The official word is that everyone has died from a radiation accident, but when they examine the bodies (and test for radiation levels) the evidence does not support the official story.
This development puts Dr. Song in conflict with Captain Han, and not for the last time. Obviously, she wants to know why her sister died. Han, however, has his own concerns, which force him to stay focused on his task. Back on earth, her daughter is very ill. If he accomplishes this mission, it will increase his status and subsequently, his daughter’s treatment. He can’t afford Song to go on a little side quest.
The silent sea Review
But affordability is at the heart of this series. Concretely, what can we afford to ensure a real future? Will we be ready to pay with our lives? With our humanity?
At the Balhae moon base, they were trying to solve the world’s problems. They thought they could find a solution by looking for water on the moon. What they did to achieve this goal, however, not only cost them their lives, but threatens the small crew that pursued them.
Because while Netflix charges The silent sea as a sci-fi thriller, it looks more like a horror movie. You will find yourself talking to the characters, urging them, “Don’t go in there!” And “Hands off that!” And the tension builds, as they ignore us, go in there and touch that.
As such, watching the show is a very stressful experience. At the same time, that’s a good thing, because the storyline allows for quieter moments. It’s in these parts that catharsis is found, as the actors, especially Gong Yoo and Bae Doona, nail down the emotional conflicts their characters face.
image via Netflix
And they do it all in a beautiful landscape. While some of the effects are a bit hit and miss, the set design is not. Lunar terrain, for example, is exceptionally well rendered. In the final episode, there is a shot that was so beautiful that it made me feel quite an emotion.
That being said, I must also admit that the series is not reinventing the wheel. In fact, it’s basically a variation on the plot of a certain other space tale, a movie, which I won’t name (as that would spoil the show). Plus, some plot details are confusing and left confused, even at the end. Even with all this, however, The silent sea worth watching. It’s a spooky look at a future that might be closer than we think, as well as a spooky story with a monster at the end. But as with another sci-fi infused thread, the monsters shouldn’t be coming. They are already there.
The silent sea now playing on Netflix.
Have you ever watched the show? Tell us what you think of our Silent Sea review here in these comments or on our social networks. And if you haven’t watched Squid game, will do it too. We do not yet know if there will be a Squid game season 2 – a translation error raised our hopes – but the premiere is about perfect.
featured image via Netflix