Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5
Connect Movie Review : A horror film with connectivity issues
Connect Movie Review: Exorcism of the possessed is a popular horror trope that has been done to death in films all over the world. While the sufferings and creepy otherworldly sounds still manages to give a captivating experience for a few, writers should make an effort to bring in some sort of newness to the whole idea.
Connect, directed by Ashwin Saravanan, manages to give us the chills here and there, but struggles way too much to shrug off the ‘possession’ tropes that accompany a genre like this.
The film begins with a happy family of four: Joseph (Vinay Rai), a doctor by profession, Susan (Nayanthara), their teen daughter Anna (Haniya Nafisa), and Susan’s elderly father Arthur (Sathyaraj).While Joseph wants his daughter to pursue her music dreams abroad, Susan advises Anna to do so after completing her studies. Little does the family know that the announcement of a nation-wide lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic would make their lives miserable.
The sudden demise of Dr. Joseph forces Anna to use the Ouija board to communicate with her late father. But fate brings an evil spirit to their place, at a time when both mom and daughter are in quarantine. With her daughter possessed now, Susan has to deal with this danger all by herself. Arthur connects Susan to a Mumbai-based priest (Anupam Kher), who suggests performing an exorcism on the victim virtually. Can Susan’s effort save her daughter from all the misery?
The initial setup of director Ashwin Saravanan’s Connect is quite interesting, giving us the experience of a proper horror film. However, as the film progresses, it becomes like a compilation of scenes from the horror-thrillers we have been witnessing for more than three decades. The director tries way too hard to bring newness to the age-old exorcism concept. Guess what’s new here? The exorcism is performed online with high-speed internet (thanks to cinematographer Manikantan Krishnamachary for the brilliant visuals), and this time, the possessed doesn’t contort its body in weird ways above a bed throughout the climactic sequence.
The jump scares are quite convincing, and the dramatic presentation of the demon works to a certain extent. The major drawback is the content. Everyone knows that Ashwin can convincingly pull off horror genre films, as he has done it before. But then, it’s also his responsibility to write a script that creates some sort of “connection” with the viewers.
It’s okay to write a script without any backstory for the dead or the evil, but then there needs to be a revelation connecting all the dots.
The supporting actors, including Vinay Rai, Haniya Nafisa, Sathyaraj and Anupam Kher, have delivered their best. Nayanthara, once again, delivers a convincing act as the mother of a depressed teenager. However, there is not much scope for her to showcase her Connect has a lot of connectivity issues, but the technical aspects of the film are brilliant, especially the sound design (Sachin Sudhakaran and Hariharan) and cinematography.