Squid Game, which Netflix has dubbed their “largest TV Show yet,” has blown the collective minds of millions of people worldwide since its release. The internet is currently a minefield of spoilers; there are memes, conspiracy theories, rants, and heated debates about the Korean drama on every imaginable online forum, and with reason.
The nine episodes, written and directed by Hwang Dong-Hyuk, manage to leave viewers frightened but engrossed in the show, owing to the show’s razor-sharp script and captivating performances from its ensemble cast.
In Squid Game, Netflix’s latest translation of spectacular South-East Asian games-based lethal horror television, a group of people who are in debt up to their eyeballs enter a dangerous game to gain riches. They only have to survive six dangerous and brutal childhood Korean games.
People from all areas of life have been brought together in a survival game called the Squid Game, where the final winner will get a 45.6 billion prize. However, winning the game is merely the beginning of their concerns.
Cho Sang-woo and Seong Gi-hun are childhood pals. They would compete in the squid Game, a combination of physical disability, athletic prowess, and team sport. Both appear to be at the polar opposite ends of South Korea’s socioeconomic spectrum, with Seong Gi-hun a destitute ex-factory worker with a gambling addiction stealing money from his elderly mother and Cho Sang-Woo a high-flying securities investor traveling the world, and it comes as a surprise to one but not the other that they both end up in such horrors.
Four hundred and fifty-six debt-strangled players are introduced into the game by our two central heroes. There are gangsters, math instructors, and married couples among them; people from every walk of life in South Korea. The games are straightforward and straightforward, and it’s a win or gets eliminated situation. Once kids comprehend what it means to be “eliminated,” though, panic begins to take root.
Seong Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo’s narrative is extremely well-written. As is the growth of the surrounding cast as they are constructed and later demolished. My favorite character was Kang Sae-byeok, a North Korean defector attempting to buy her family’s safety.
As is the case with a lot of southeast Asian SFF/horror, the scenery is chewed to bits, at times it’s ridiculous, there are plot holes that the Wallabies forward pack could power through, and there are plenty of jaw-dropping moments that I adored. Pure, amazing, horrific entertainment.
Southeast Asian nations continue to produce incredible television and film (e.g. Alice in Borderland), which Netflix continues to translate and make available to the world. Southeast Asia is probably the most diverse region on the planet, and I’m becoming increasingly enamored with their bizarre storytelling style.
Lee Jung Jae as Seong Gi-hun
Park Hae Soo as Cho Sangwoo
Oh Yeong Su as Oh Il Nam
HoYeon Jung as Kang Sae-byeok
Heo Sung Tae as Jang Deok-su
Anupam Tripathi as Abdul Ali
Kim Joo-ryoung as Han Mi-nyeo
This series has an incredible cast. You have a gambling addict (Seong Gi-hun); a graduate of Seoul National University who is now facing fraud charges (Cho Sangwoo); a former North Korean defector seeking a fresh start (Kang Sae-byeok); a Pakistani struggling to make ends meet for their family (Abdul Ali); and finally, an elderly man (played by Oh Il Nam) who enters the game for the sake of adventure, or so it appears.
How can you forget Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung Tae) and Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung), two characters you can’t help but despise? All of the main performers did an excellent job portraying their various characters, which is to be anticipated given that more than half of the primary cast is comprised of veterans.
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