The new show Squid Games has taken the world by storm. The show was released on Netflix on September 17th, 2021. The show’s cast includes Lee Jung-jae (Seong Gi-Hun, better known as Player 456), Park Hae-soo (Cho Sang-woo), Jung Ho-yeon Kang (Sae-byeok), Anupam Tripathi (Abdul Ali), O Yeong-su (Oh Il-nam), Wi Ha-Joon (Police officer, Hwang Jun-ho), and many more, talented, actors. Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of the series, had conceived of this idea based on his own economic struggles in early life, as well as the class disparity system in South Korea, and capitalism.
The story starts off with the focus on Gi-Hun, a lazy but well-meaning man who’s living on the back of his grandmother’s sparse income. Gi-Hun, a divorcee, is knee-deep in debt, and uses the money given to him to fuel his troubling habit — gambling. After a strange encounter at a subway station, he receives a card with a phone number on it — an offer to join a game.
Many people receive and accept this offer. When they do, everyone wakes up in a large facility in an undisclosed location, surrounded by men in black masks. The men explain the rules of the game — they have to play six games in order to win the prize money (forty-five point six billion won). The contestants will face six gruesome, heart shattering games in order to progress, and win the final prize. Who will win the final prize? Who is really behind all of this? You’ll have to watch to find out!
This show was beautifully written and acted out. Not only did the actors portray their character in an empathetic, jaw-dropping manner (especially Jung Ho-Yeon, who played Sae-Byeok — she was incredible for her first time acting on a television show), but each acted in a way where you can’t help but get attached to their characters and storylines. The show highlighted the greed of how our world works. Basing the show on capitalism, class systems, and overall corruption as a whole really provided a deeper meaning as to what was going on throughout the show — one to consider as we move throughout our daily lives. It showed disparity, sadness, emotion, and violence, and beautifully connected it back to the main idea of how people will do anything for financial gain.
However, there was one thing that could have been better — namely, the VIPs. Throughout their one-episode appearance on the show, they all were a bit annoying. One can understand how important they are to the contribution to the plot, but they were quite a bit of a headache. Their sub-par lines were not as in depth as the other actors’ lines, and they were not pleasant to watch. All of their lines were in English, compared to the rest of the show being spoken originally in Korean, which was an aspect that caused a great deal of confusion. Even with the complaints listed above, the show was amazing and the positive compliments of the show definitely outweigh the negative ones.
Squid Games completely blew me away — from the acting, to the scenery and the plot, it was beautifully made. The way the show portrayed modern-day problems in our current world while remaining conspicuous left me in awe. I would most definitely recommend this show to anyone interested in thrillers/historical fiction/drama!