REVIEW: Connect – Successful in recreating the “Hollywood” horror but lacks content
First and foremost, the movie deserves praise for taking a novel approach rather than adhering to the stereotypes of Tamil “Ghost horror” films. With some genuinely horrifying scenes, the movie also succeeds in unsettling the audience. Well-choreographed, well-staged, and well-performed. To be really honest, one of the main things that drew me to watch this movie was the exorcism idea that was displayed in the trailer.
The cinematography and sound design are “Connect’s” two main supporting pillars. Although this method was used in the Malayalam film “C u soon,” the experimental technique of narrating the entire movie through the lenses of either a computer or a phone camera has tremendously enhanced the film’s outstanding visuals. With every communication taking place through a video conference between two or more characters within the COVID lockdown timeline, this strategy is made all the more justifiable. The use of handheld cameras and more unguarded images makes it easier for viewers to feel scared. The sound design is incisive and perfectly suited for a horror film.
The issue with Connect is the shallowness of the substance, despite the excellent way in which terror is executed. The narrative gets off to a good start with Vinay Rai’s portrayal of Dr. Joseph Benoy, who sacrifices his own life while caring for patients who have the Covid virus. This beautifully establishes the tone and gives us hope for a compelling plot, yet it ultimately serves as justification for his daughter’s possession by an evil spirit. The emphasis is more on re-creating the standard Hollywood style of filmmaking, which Tamil cinema has never seen, but the absence of background information or the decision not to investigate the evil spirit that controls the girl makes the story feel incomplete and gives the impression that we are merely viewing a collection of terrifying scenes rather than immersing ourselves in a coherent narrative. The movie tries a few twists and turns as the exorcism starts, but lacks the intensity needed for the conclusion.
Although Nayanthara did a good job portraying Susan, a mother of a 15-year-old, her character occasionally falls victim to the cliché of disobeying warnings that she is in danger. This problem also affects her father, played by Sathyaraj, who travels between towns but remains Susan’s neighbour up until the dramatic conclusion despite being aware of the seriousness of the threat. Haniva Nafis, who plays Nayanthara’s daughter Anna, is without a doubt the best choice among the actors because she gives the script’s requirements her all.
Connect is definitely horrifying but for those who are familiar with this style of filmmaking are just watching an Indian version of ‘Conjuring’, mainly because of the failure of the makers in bringing a content that is connected to the audience.
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