Connect arrived on our screens last December, courtesy of Disney+ after officially premiering at the 27th Busan International Film Festival in October. It represented something of an oddity, being a high-budget South Korean series helmed by renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike. It was particularly of interest to me because – cards on the table – I’m a long-time fan of Miike.
Let me sell him to you:
You know when you’re watching a film and you think ‘yeah yeah, seen this movie a million times, know exactly where it’s going’…and then the director throws you such a curve ball you’re spitting out your coffee and going ‘what the *!£& am l watching here’??
You know that?
Well, if you like that feeling, Takeshi Miike is the man for you.
From Audition to Ichi the Killer to 13 Assassins, Miike has built a reputation for original, innovative, non-conformist extreme cinema. I went to a talk with him at BAFTA one time; turns out he didn’t much care for school and truanted a lot. You get that from his films. He’s still not one to play by the rules.
He’s a man who deals in strong, visceral concepts, too. You’re a horror fan, right? Let me pitch you Connect in one simple sentence: ‘A man whose eye was harvested by organ traffickers discovers that he can now see through the eye of the recipient: a serial killer.’
You up for that?
Does Connect deliver on its potential?
Very much so.
Jung Hae-in (as protagonist Ha Dong-Soo) and Go Kyung-Pyo (as villain Oh Jin-Seob) turn in epic lead performances, ably backed up by a solid supporting cast (including obligatory jaded cop Detective Choi).
And the big surprises start dropping fast; even before the first episode is over it is revealed that Dong-Soo is very far from being an ordinary human being (hint: ‘connect’ is a noun as well as a verb in this setting).
There is a beautiful structure and symmetry in the writing, as indicated by the ‘connected’ episode titles: ‘Connection’; ‘Conjunction’; ‘Composition’; ‘Confession’; ‘Concoction’; and ‘Confusion’.
IMDB ratings award Connect 6.5/10; I’d probably go up by two, to 8.5.
It’s really very good.
Will there be a second series? The high-octane ending makes it almost a foregone conclusion and points to an expansion in scale.
I’ll be waiting.
Watch Connect now on Disney+.
We’ll survive if we all just stick together!
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