The first South Korean series on Apple TV + tells the story of a brilliant neuroscientist who develops technology to penetrate the minds of others
Since ‘Parasites’ (2019) made history this year by becoming the first non-English language film to win the award for best film – it also won the awards for best director for Bong Joon-ho, best international film and best original script-, many viewers have begun to follow the productions coming out of South Korea with interest. For decades, the Asian country has become one of the world references, mainly in genre and action productions, with films and series of excellent technical and visual invoice and with often original and risky premises. Without going any further, Netflix’s latest great success, ‘The Squid Game’, is South Korean.
From there also comes the enigmatic ‘Dr. Brain ‘, the new Apple TV + fiction whose first chapter has already reached the platform. Behind it is Kim Jee-woon, author of the fantastic ‘The Empire of Shadows’ or ‘I Found the Devil’. Hardened until now in the feature film, the filmmaker makes the leap to television fiction and does so with a story that moves between science fiction and the paranormal. Adaptation of the eponymous digital comic, drawn by Hong Jac Ga, ‘Dr. Brain ‘tells the story of Dr. Sewon Koh, a neuroscientist marked by family misfortunes brought to life by Lee Sun-kyun. Through voiceover and flashback, we understand that little Sewon is a child with a privileged brain, attentive to every detail and with a real need to understand how things work, but with hardly any social skills to connect with the rest of the world. people. Doctors say he will be able to lead an autonomous life, but little more, due to his autism spectrum disorder. Until the tragic death of his mother seems to make him change.
I jump forward. Dr. Sewon Koh is an eminent neuroscientist who has just discovered how it can be synchronized with brain waves through quantum entanglement. In other words, it has managed to transfer some aspects of its memory from one mouse to another. Now he wants to test it on humans. But the endeavor of the brilliant scientist does not seem to be based solely on his thirst for knowledge. A few months ago he was touched when he lost his son in an explosion, while his wife was plunged into a depression, unable to understand that her son had disappeared. Since then, he has tried to extract clues from people’s brains to solve the mystery of his death.
With this scent of a wacky scientist, which takes us back to some of the best works of horror and science fiction -‘Frankenstein ‘,’ Re-Animator ‘or’ The fly’-, an interesting story begins, which stands out for its photography , taken care of down to the smallest detail, and which is developed by playing sticks of other genres as well: from drama to thriller, with a nod to the noir genre and even comedy, with some specific moments that will make the viewer smile. All this, moreover, is mixed in a surprisingly balanced way. Full of script twists – some work better than others – the fiction, which is growing in intensity, also allows ethical and moral issues to be brought to light – to what extent is it fair that we get inside the heads of others? – while Dr. Sewon remains impassive, blinded by trying to achieve his goals.
Six vibrant and fun chapters that once again show that South Korea is something else.
‘Dr. Brain ‘is released at the rate of one episode a week, on Fridays on Apple TV +.