Sense8 tells the story of eight complete strangers. They are anomalies that can’t be explained by any rational logic or science. The eight are as follows: Will (Brian J. Smith), Riley (Tuppence Middleton), Capheus (Aml Ameen), Sun (Doona Bae), Lito (Miguel Silvestre), Kala (Tina Desai), Wolfgang (Max Riemelt), and Nomi (Jamie Clayton). They are all of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. In the epilogue of a tragic death they all have foreboding experiences. Well, what they think are dreams or visions. With each episode that passes by, they find themselves growing more and more psychologically and emotionally connected.While trying to work out the reasons behind this phenomenon, a strange man called Jonas (Naveen Andrews) tries to help the eight. Meanwhile, another mystery figure called Whispers attempts to hunt them all down, using the same abilities to gain full access to the chosen’s mind after looking into their eyes. Each episode mirrors the views of the characters interacting with each other’s lives while digging deeper into their personal backgrounds but it’s also about what makes each of these characters unique and the emotional motivation that makes one help the other.
Each character seems to have adopted a different genre. Wolfgang for example has taken the gritty crime thriller genre. He’s a fighter and has knocked people senseless throughout the series more than once but he’s also a thief. A good one at that. He has Scott Lang’s (Ant-Man) humor (in moderation) but has Tommy DeVito’s (Goodfellas) knack for lashing out. Lito on the other hand is a famous actor being followed around by his co-star who is obsessed with him. Their story is a bit like a really bad soap opera but with the Wachowski charm. Then there’s Will. A cop from Chicago in love with Riley from London. This is the textbook long distance romance. The Wachowskis direct the entire season as you can see in their attention to detail and great uses of slow motion. They shot in eight different countries across the world including: America, India, England and Germany to name a few.
The acting performances from the cast were awesome and I had no premeditated judgements as they were unknown to me which I liked. With a lot of movies and television series, there is one or two standout actors that you can pass judgement on before you see the series or movie. This time I was surprised and I was glad that they had cast so well for each of these characters. The fight scenes from Sun were something to behold. They are akin to another Netflix series, Marco Polo. I felt like I was in 13th century China witnessing a brutal punch up but done with the most elegant and graceful way possible. It was done with such precision, in a way that I felt that I was under a hypnotic spell. It is glorious to watch.
The main sequence starts at around 2:15
Sense8 talks about current world problems as well like women being inferior to men in places like India and Japan. Kala is forced to marry someone she doesn’t love with her family’s backing and there’s no way she can get out of it because cultural norms. In these countries, people marry for political gain, money or social standing. Many marriages are arranged from the time couples are born and are they married when they both come of age. Also there’s gay rights as we see in scenes with Nomi and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) at Pride. Lastly there’s Sun in Japan who goes to prison for her brother who stole from their father’s company. She’d get a more menial sentence because she’s female. She had to take responsibility for her brother’s crimes.
I believe that Sense8 is one of the best series of the century. The cinematography and filmmaking is irrelevant in what I am about to talk about. It gives us a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. To love, to feel, to hate. All these characters feel each other’s happiness, sadness or sensations but other emotions are also on display such as: guilt, fear, shame, disgust and envy. There aren’t many shows (if any) that show humanity in such a focused form. It is so innately emotional and intimate to the viewer. It stimulates the inner emotions at the epicentre of the soul. Firstly, it hammers your emotional barriers until they shatter. After that, the series then walks over the shattered glass to tap into your deeper emotion still. It exploits our emotional vulnerability and our humanity. Then after the pain, comes the most welcome comfort of going back to who you were. It’s a rebirth of your former persona. The person that you had hidden from the world has now come back to the surface.
In conclusion, I incredibly enjoyed this series and I really want this to be called for a second season. It made me see how vulnerable we are, yet our humanity isn’t something to be feared or hidden, it is something to be celebrated. The only quam I have with the series is with the introduction. Despite the beautiful shots of the cities, the intro could be shorter.