Squid Game: A South Korean Film Taken by the Storm

Paula Le, Editor

“Squid Game”, a film that kept viewers on their toes, has exceeded everyone’s expectations. But what makes the series so special that they received a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?

The South Korean show is a drama, thriller, and action series that was released in mid-September. In “Squid Game” 456 people participate in various children’s games. What’s on the line? 45.6 billion Korean won ($39 million). The participants all had one thing in common, not having money to pay off life expenses so, they are given an invitation to be involved in the competition. I mean if you’re in debt and desperate, would you take the chance? The catch is your life, however. When the tournament says you’re eliminated, you’re ELIMINATED-ELIMINATED. It’s simple, pass all six games and you get the money. From Red Light Green Light to Tug-of-War, it’s easy to be emotionally and physically exhausted.

What makes the show jaw-dropping is the cliffhangers, twist of events, and the actions characters will make to benefit themselves. The brutality and the limits the characters are willing to reach are honestly scary. If you think about it, the rawness of Squid Game depicts people in the real world. Loan sharks, poverty, achievements are not everything, and life’s defects are shown throughout the story. There’s obviously a certain appeal to Squid Game, the layout of every single scene, the music cues (at the right but wrong time), the plot, you name it. I didn’t personally find the show gory, but overall found the details in the film intriguing and fascinating.

According to co-CEO Ted Sarandos of Netflix, “Squid Game” has “a very good chance” of being Netflix’s biggest and popular series ever. I mean, are we surprised? The drama is the No. 1 show in 22 countries and territories. Hwan Dong-hyuk, the Director, worked on the script back in 2008 but didn’t go through with it, for the cruelty of the games was not a welcoming idea to produce until recently. I feel like a proud mother that the South Korean film industry is getting the recognition they deserve.

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Some aspects that appeared in the drama are real. The phone number on the light-brown business card is real, and the person with the number has complained of receiving several calls. The schoolgirl doll from the first game came from Jincheon Carriage Museum Adventure Village. The beds the participant stay at are also completely authentic.

Don’t get me started on the rollercoaster of emotions I’ve dealt with from the show. The heartache when Seong Gi-hun is trying to be a supportive dad for his daughter, or when Ali got betrayed by someone he trusted. Joon-ho, the detective, realizing his brother is alive but gets shot by him?!? On the bright side, the show cast attractive actors. No names are needed, it’s obvious who I’m referring to. The dalgona game gave me anxiety, and the marble scene was too much for my heart. The amount of theories I’ve seen is giving me a headache.

“Squid Game” did receive all sorts of criticism. Some spectators claim the series plagiarizes other films such as the Japanese film “As the Gods Will.” Not only that, viewers voiced their opinion on how the English dub was like a comedy. The ongoing war of dub vs. sub came through of one’s laziness for not reading subtitles.

The director of “Squid Game” wishes for fans “to find relief from the pressures they face and be free from the competition in their daily lives.” He intends for viewers to think about the reasons society struggles to live and survive in our competitive world.