Squid Game Smashes Expectations on Netflix

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On September 17, 2021, the Korean thriller series, Squid Game, was released on Netflix. This nine-episode show focuses on 456 highly indebted people who participate in a series of traditional Korean children’s games in order to win a huge cash prize of 45.6 billion won, which converts to 38.6 million dollars. This show was originally written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk in 2008, but was delayed due to lack of funds and the grotesque story.

“I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life,” stated Director Hwang Dong-hyuk to Variety, a magazine company based in Los Angeles.

There has also been controversy about Squid Game regarding plagiarism. It has been compared to other dystopian-survival films, such as As The Gods Will, The Hunger Games, and Alice in Borderland. In the 2014 film, As The Gods Will, this film focuses on characters that are forced to play a variety of children’s games. Both of these films also depict almost identical scenes. Although they may be similar in multiple ways, Squid Game still has several aspects that contribute to its uniqueness.

Squid Game is well-developed, written, and the scenes are vivid which truly exemplifies the whole story. The remarkable storyline and plot is what makes watchers long for more. The values and character development revealed in the show increase the audience’s curiosity to question society and humanity. It makes them wonder to what extent someone is willing to go just for money even if it requires betraying a loved one.

The main cast of Squid Game features Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-Hun, Park Hae Soo as Cho Sang-Woo, HoYeon Jung as Kang Sae-byeok, and Anupam Tripathi as Abdul Ali. These characters have all played a significant role in the show. They have portrayed meaningful life values such as moral growth, compassion, courage, and resilience.

The main character, Seong Gi-hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, develops throughout the series. His morals are seen declining through his addiction, but he later redeems himself through his actions. As a person who struggled from a gambling addiction, he had collected a large debt. Later on, he learned the true value of life and regretted taking it for granted.

“Gi-hun’s character changes a lot over the course of the show. It has a large spectrum, which any actor would want to try out at least once in his career. This was possibly the first time I’ve played a character with such a range,” Lee Jung-jae stated.

Squid Game has been attracting loads of attention over the past few weeks and is #1 on Netflix in multiple countries such as the United States, Australia, and Korea. Viewers are fascinated and mesmerized over how the show can create such a daunting aroma that perfectly pairs with a binge-worthy plot. Out of thousands of reviewers, 85% have given the series over 3.5 out of five stars on Rotten Tomatoes, a film-reviewing website.

Watchers are anticipating if there will be another season, considering how brief the first season was. The last episode of the series left fans on a cliff-hanger. As the ending does not have as much closure as wanted, fans crave for at least a sequel.

Squid Game is overall a ground-breaking thriller that allows fans to ride emotional rollercoasters while still feeling excitement. It would not be surprising if this show were to receive multiple awards from renowned award shows.