“Thanks for playing with me.”

“Thanks for playing with me.”

Natasha Aragon, Staff Writer

*Spoiler Alert*

“You’d love it,” is what everyone said when telling me to watch “Squid Game,” yet every character I loved DIED. The gruesome psychological thriller directed by Hwang Dong-Hyuk, “Squid Game,” gained publicity globally after being released on Netflix on Sep. 17, 2021. “Squid Game” evoked many emotions starting with the hate of Cho Sang-Woo (Park Hae-Soo) and his betrayal, to tears when Ji-Yeong (Lee Yoo-Mi) gets shot. 

456 civilians with underlying debt are able to win 45.6 billion Korean won (Korean currency), but they must battle in childhood games. With the protagonist Seong Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-Jae), viewers see the depths one goes for family and riches. After desperately competing in Ddakji, Seong Gi-Hun is given a card that allows him to enter the competition. Later as all 456 civilians progress through the first game of “Red light, Green light,” they realize the perilous consequences of this challenge, leaving everyone to drop out. However, the host informs the contestants that the offer remains.

Thus, when thrown back into their miserable lives, most contestants re-enter the competition, accepting their possible fates. As these games progress, they become demanding and psychologically draining. Specifically, after being forced to work in teams in a game of tug-a-war, contestants gain allies, yet the next game destroys all established trust and friendship. This is done by making everyone get in pairs and compete for their life. 

As the show progresses, viewers gain an attachment towards these characters due to their backstories like Kang Sae-Byeok (Jung Ho-Yeon) -a North Korean in need of money for family matters- and Abdul Ali (Tripathi Anupam) -a man from Pakistan who came to work in Korea but was scammed by his employers-. Moreover, while the competition is taking place, police officer, Hwang Jun-Ho (Wi Ha-Joon), who supposedly lost his brother from the game, investigates the contest and sneaks into the competition with a guard disguise. 

With different viewpoints, viewers gain an understanding of the dystopian world. Specifically, Hwang Jun-Ho’s side story allowed viewers to learn the secrets behind the competition and how it began. The thought behind this series is apparent due to its detailed storyline; with this in mind, “Squid Game” becomes more enjoyable to watch.  

However, at times the show was predictable, such as the protagonist being the last one standing in the competition. Though Seong Gi-Hun won the prize money, when returning home he finds his mother dead. Although the harsh reality that life goes on outside the competition was a nice detail; the need to stop the competition entirely seemed rushed. Watching Seong Gi-Hun turn around from flying to see his daughter destroyed the purpose behind participating in the game. It left questions unanswered and was unfair because of the lack of plans for season two, leaving viewers with the possibility of never having a clear answer. 

“Squid Game” opened the gate for people to watch or consider the idea of foreign films and shows. Before people wouldn’t step out of the reality tv and cheesy romances realm, but with the growth in heavy topic foreign films, people are willing to change that. 

Rating: 4.7/5