Review: Squid Game

Kayla Cheng , Staff Writer

“Squid Game” is a TV show directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk as his passion project for the past 12 years. Dong-hyuk had originally come up with the script in 2008 and had finished the rough draft of it by 2009, but he believed that the world was not ready for such a violent and peculiar story. Dong-hyuk named his hit series “Squid Game” because this highly competitive cutthroat game he played as a child represented what he believed society was like today. He also derived inspiration from many of the shows and movies that he had watched as a kid, such as “Battle Royale.”

The show features many characters who are down on their luck and in poverty whether it’s due to layoffs, scammers, gambling, or the mistreatment of immigrant workers in South Korea. However, they are all offered a chance at “redemption” and a chance to gain back the wealth they had lost. Many of those who are offered this chance take it because they fail to realize the negative consequences this “opportunity” has. Our protagonist, Gi-hun, is one of the characters who falls into the trap of the squid game. Gi-hun has been laid off for quite a while and has not been able to find a job due to the loss of jobs in the South Korean economy. He is only one of the 456 players that will compete in the annual squid game. He, like the other characters that compete in the game, is in poverty and doesn’t have a better life or opportunities waiting outside of the game. Having this information in the show is crucial because it explains why the characters make certain choices that we might not make. These players are specifically selected to participate in the game and are invited by a businessman who offers to play ddakji (which is a Korean game where there is a blue and red envelope and the player has to try to flip their opponent’s envelope to win). The businessman offers them 100,000 yuan for every round that they win, and his prize for winning is the ability to slap them if they lose. To many this offer is enticing, and Gi-hun does take the offer and gets repeatedly slapped until he finally wins and is offered the money and the card.

These players who accept the offer to play are drugged and taken to a remote island to avoid law enforcement from knowing about the game. There they are given green tracksuits that have individual numbers and are told that they will be playing childhood games to win the money. Many of the players expect this to be a lighthearted competition until their expectations are shattered by the first gunshot which killed player 324. The players, after realizing that player 324 had actually died, started to panic and begged to leave. But due to the rules of the competition, they were not allowed to and were forced to remain in the game. In total there are six games that the players compete in, with the competition in each round lessening. This show is incredible and extremely interesting to watch especially if you’re a fan of thriller and action shows.