If you remember my review of the Japanese series Alice In Borderline, you will know my love for this genre! And with that I have finished watching the new Korean Series Squid Game on Netflix. The genre of random strangers assembling to play lethal games is always an interesting one. One of the best films of the genre is the Japanese film Battle Royale which was not only fun and games but also tackled the psychology of the players involved. This cocktail of conflicting emotions and the dynamics of the players with each other is what makes this genre a totally hit. Thankfully this genre is sparingly used and not over exploited like say the horror comedy genre. That said, is Squid Game worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Squid Game follows the story of a group of debt ridden group of strangers who assemble yo play a strange set of games that soon turn out to be lethal. The premise of the story did already engage me which is why I took a leap in watching the show. And to be honest, it is very little that you can go wrong here! The screenplay is engaging from the first scene where you do get a glimpse into the life of one of the main protagonists in the lead up to the game. The circumstances that are created are very interesting and they are sure to keep you hooked. There are a total of 9 episodes which are almost 55 mimutes long but they just pass by like a breeze! There is never a dull moment throughout the screenplay. On the other hand, the games which are played are thrilling and not entirely predictable either. So it is indeed nail biting stuff while watching the sequences. Apart from the game, there are several emotional threads doing the rounds which will make you sympathize with several characters. If there is any criticism, then there is this one particular subplot that wasn’t really tied up at the end featuring the inspector but you can easily look past these flaws in this drama that has an emotional climax as is the case with films or series from this genre. Overall, a highly engaging screenplay!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are extremely well penned and they instantly leave an impact! The BGM is outstanding and blends well with the drama! The camerawork is excellent here. Director Dong-Hyuk Hwang does an excellent job keeping the audience engaged throughout. The very fact that you could root for the characters keeping the humane side of them intact means that it was a job well done.
The performances are excellent here! Kim Joo-ryoung as Han Mi-nyeo is outstanding as tje young woman who emotionally manipulates people. Anupam Tripathi as Ali is so easy on the eyes here and a job well done. Oh Young-so as Il-Nam was an absolute pleasure to watch. A character that is extremely layered and you also sympathize with him, his antics may remind you of your grandfather! Jung Ho-yeon as Sae-byoek also does a fabulous job. A character that is cerebral and wonderfully restrained, she is brilliant here. Park Hae-so as Sang-woo is a character that many will be conflicted about. On one hand you may sympathize with him and on the other hand his ruthlessness may bother you, a perfectly balanced act here. Lee Jung-jae as Gi-Hun is the star of the show here. One player who has all the human emotions in place and can distinguish between right and wrong, his performance will totally win you over.
Squid Game is a highly engaging and entertaining watch that will keep you hooked throughout. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!