‘The Silent Sea’: Netfilx Sci-Fi Sequence Drowns in Its Operating Length

Gong Yoo and Bae Doona Han Sejun | Netflix

As the streaming period carries on to blur the line in between movie and tv, it’s normal that the compromise involving the two varieties, the limited sequence, would be thriving. Just about each and every streaming platform worthy of its salt launched a buzzworthy miniseries in 2021, from Amazon’s The Underground Railroad, to Hulu’s Dopesick, to HBO Max’s Station Eleven. Netflix dominated the discussion final calendar year with Squid Video game, which author-director Hwang Dong-hyuk experienced at first pitched as a two-hour film before expanding it into an 8-hour miniseries. For Squid Recreation, the excess time financial commitment compensated off major time, but not each and every premise benefits from a magnificent runtime. In the circumstance of Choi Hang-yong’s The Silent Sea, the new Netflix miniseries dependent on his 2014 brief movie The Sea of Tranquility, fewer may well actually have been more. The Silent Sea boasts solid performances and an imaginative premise, but spends significantly of its 360 minutes treading water.

The Silent Sea is established in the late 2060s, a decade into a worldwide drought. Lakes, rivers, and reservoirs all-around the earth have dried up and desalination plants just cannot create plenty of drinkable water to meet demand, major governments to enact harsh, unjustly stratified rationing measures. (The show’s depiction of a enormous water disaster in this century is a dramatization, but not an creation this is an problem you ought to be worried about.) Towards this backdrop, astrobiologist Dr. Track Ji-an (Bae Doona, Kingdom) is recruited to participate in a salvage mission at Balhae Station, the lunar outpost where by her sister was killed in an incident five many years earlier. Dr. Track and a crew of 10 other astronauts led by straight-laced Captain Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo, Practice to Busan) journey to the derelict moon foundation, only to obtain that almost nothing they’ve been told about their mission is genuine. 

Bae Doona is at home as an qualified scientist whose stillness portrays both of those business professional self-confidence and deep, soul-sucking depression. Dr. Track is single-minded in her pursuit of the truth, but her investigation is also an act of mourning. Five yrs and an endless clean drinking water move have finished small to console the discomfort of her sister’s reduction, but understanding the loss of life may eventually give her closure. Standing in her way is Captain Han, who needs to full the mission as instructed and get again residence so he can use the water provide he’s been promised to are inclined to his ailing daughter. The stakes adjust for the two of them when the crew discovers a little something aboard Balhae Station that could finish the drought. Or drown all of humanity. 

The sci-fi conceit of The Silent Sea marries the kissing cousins of space horror and submarine thriller. Outer area and deep h2o are equivalent options loaded with equivalent fears, isolating figures in enclosures that are both claustrophobic but only protection from an ecosystem that can kill them pretty, very speedily. Except the vacuum of area has a genuine weak point as a film antagonist: it is invisible. Director Choi Hold-yong and screenwriter Park Eun-kyo devise a menace (the character of which I won’t spoil) that allows h2o stand in as a a lot more visually appealing hazard even in a house environment, mixing in some unpleasant body horror aspects for fantastic measure. The Silent Sea undoubtedly owes a personal debt to Alien (as virtually each and every spaceborne thriller does) but that is just a person of numerous components in its imaginative recipe. 

But the series falls short as a thriller. To get the job done perfectly, a thriller is dependent on the interaction of suspense and surprise, on the storytellers’ mindful parseling of information to both the figures and to the audience. If the audience is aware of a little something right before the protagonists, it need to heighten the hazard and create suspense. Will the hero comprehend there’s a bomb under their seat just before it goes off? What is the villain hiding in that head-sized box? The challenge with The Silent Sea’s mystery is that the viewers and the protagonists get most of the critical info at the identical time, and the tale plods alongside at this kind of a deliberate pace that the viewers has far much too significantly time to contemplate the evidence and attract conclusions, from time to time hrs prior to the figures have caught up.

It’s not that The Silent Sea is not worthy of eight 45-minute episodes—in simple fact there is a fantastic offer of untapped tale prospective in the miniseries. Of the 11-solid crew that comes at Balhae Station, only two (Dr. Tune and Captain Han) get flashbacks to their life just before the mission. Most of the people are launched by means of a single clumsy scene that permits absolutely everyone to shake fingers and give a one line of backstory. Their education with each other as a staff is skipped about, presumably to get us into the plot faster, but then it all decompresses as if Choi and Park were battling to fulfill an expected size. A subplot of political intrigue back on Earth gets glancing attention, and a shady corporate antagonist is spoken of but never viewed. Probably the creation did not have the finances to manifest these thoughts on display, but they unquestionably had the time.

Would The Silent Sea labored much better as a six-element miniseries, fairly than 8? Ought to it have been a a few- or four-hour film, rather? Is there a realistic big difference in between these two alternatives in a streaming context? Cinema, possibly digested complete or in chapters, has never been far more malleable, and just one hopes that platforms like Netflix will motivate storytellers to healthy the medium to their message rather than vice-versa.

‘The Silent Sea’: Netflix Sci-Fi Series Drowns In Its Running Length

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