The Netflix shotgun throws new shows for you every weekend, so it can be hard to know what to choose. And for many, I wouldn’t imagine that a Korean show with an odd sounding title like “Squid Game” is going to stand out for a lot of people.
Well, it should.
I worked on this show over the weekend, and it’s one of the most bizarre and fascinating Netflix projects I’ve seen in a long time, and if the title is confusing you might be. be sold by the basic concept.
The idea of Squid Game is that a mysterious organization is recruiting a number of hapless and indebted Koreans to participate in a giant series of games that will reward them with millions of dollars (billions of won) if they make it to the end. .
It’s not necessarily some kind of fighting competition. On the contrary, the games played are all children’s games, things that most Korean children played in their youth. Some are games that Americans might recognize (Red Light, Green Light), others will be more specific to Korea.
In many ways, it looks like a big budget fictional adaptation of Takeshi Castle, the famous wacky Japanese competition series where players try to traverse colorful obstacle courses without falling into mud or water or something. of the kind. Or to me, it reminded me of Fall Guys, the most recent take on the battle-royale genre where you go through a series of elimination games to try and win a final prize.
But with uh, a lot more murders.
This is the trap. These children’s games all have deadly consequences if you lose. And they are unspeakably brutal. Over 450 players start, but by the end of Game 1, Red Light Green Light, the players who failed to stop moving on Red Lights were all … executed by sniper rifle fire. Later, a tug-of-war match takes place on a platform thirty meters in the air. The losers… will splatter.
This is all implemented by a mysterious shadow organization wearing PlayStation button masks and in the service of a larger leader who runs the entire game. We don’t really have a clue of the purpose of it all, but the drama is mesmerizing to watch unfold as players form alliances, betray each other, or even vote to leave, which is possible, but with everyone so desperate for money, they still choose to keep looking. end.
There’s probably a metaphor here, something about the rich and powerful preying on the desperation of the poor, but basically it makes for a gripping nine-episode production, and in some ways reminds me of the first time i ‘ve watched Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale, in terms of its existence, and that movie spawned a whole generation of other movies, shows, and especially video games. Maybe Squid Game won’t do this impact level, but it’s easy to see the similarities.
It’s a weird, violent, and disturbing adventure, and if that sounds like something you’d like, I can’t recommend Squid Game enough.
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