K-Drama Review: "Squid Game" and its Stimulating and Ruthless Plot

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I'm finally reviewing this Korean drama that has been all over my Facebook newsfeed over the weekend. I got so curious so I decided to w...

I'm finally reviewing this Korean drama that has been all over my Facebook newsfeed over the weekend. I got so curious so I decided to watch it right away. I spent nine hours of my Sunday watching the whole series that I got a headache. I was too eager to know how it'll end. 

Just to give a back story, I am the type of person who wants to share her thoughts right away after watching a Korean drama or movie. But not in this case. This is a once-in-a-blue-moon thing where I felt lost after watching. I was speechless. I was like, "That's it?" 

Photo credit: Den of Geek

Squid Game is about 456 people who have an unimaginable amount of debt. They were invited to play a game in this secluded place in exchange for a huge sum of money not knowing what comes with it. They voluntarily signed a waiver to play while being clueless on how brutal and immoral the games would be.  

Spoilers ahead, don't read if you haven't watched the series yet. 

I watched this Korean drama with my husband. As usual, he would have unsolicited side comments every now and then. According to what he read in Naver, this drama was written in 2008. But Korea was not that "open" yet to this kind of story, so it was pushed back until it finally landed on Netflix in 2021. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

He also told me that there's a lot of opinions on Korean sites saying that this drama has greater bad points than good points. But I will not list them all up here. Instead, this K-drama addict will write a first-hand review. 

Photo credit: newsdirectory3.com

First and foremost, I like the playground aesthetic, most especially the stairs leading to the game room. It's visually enticing to watch. It's full of bright colors which contrarily depict the dark plot. You'll initially think that this is some kind of cute bubbly drama, but IT IS NOT. 

Photo credit: Den of Geek

I also like how this drama introduced different Korean childhood games. It's a great way to invite viewers to not only like the Korean entertainment industry but also indulge more in its rich culture. Kudos to the writer for that! 

Flashback fact: 
My husband used to play Squid Game when he was young. He said that it involves some violence. He even recalled that he went home with a ripped shirt whenever he played it. 

I'd also like to commend the top-tier cast for managing to make everything realistic. You won't imagine the stress I felt that I almost lost all my hair. LOL! I loved everyone. But if I had to choose, it would be Kang Sae Byeok or Ali Abdul. They're amazingly great actors to watch out for. 

Who wants Sae Byeok in another drama asap? ME! :-P 

Seung Gi Hoon's and Cho Sang Woo's characters were quite predictable, so I didn't really feel excited about them. But they were played by great actors, so they still caught me at some point. 

Photo credit: Cosmo.ph

Let me mention how handsome Gong Yoo and Lee Byung Hun are. Their roles were quite short, but it still made me squeak like a little kid. 

Now, let me share what I think about the story. When you watch it, you'll wonder about these things:

Who are the people funding it?
Why do they have so much money? 
Why would they want to pay just to see people dying? 

In the end, it was revealed that grandfather Il Nam was the host. I actually felt something was off about him from the beginning. His player number was 001. His knowledge of the different games was quite impressive. I thought he was just another wise grandpa. He fooled us all, or maybe not. Who knows? 

He revealed on his deathbed that he built and funded the game to have fun. In this world of competition, winning, and losing, we all forget the word, "fun." Il Nam mentioned that being filthy rich and poor has no fun in life. For rich people, spending money becomes boring at one point. That's when they decided to create this game and look for desperate people who'd want to have loads of money regardless of the consequence. It's a sad realization that other people's happiness would mean hurting and even killing so that the filthy rich can have "fun." It's unimaginable. Who knows if this also happens in real life? 

I also cannot digest why the frontman emphasized equality when you cannot really feel it's happening within the game. There must be a deeper reason why the frontman was the frontman. I am kind of hoping that it'll be revealed in the second season if there's any. 

I felt sad for the humble lives that were lost in the game. They may be hardcore gamblers, but I still think that they all deserved second chances in life. The gangster who ruthlessly killed anyone also deserved what happened to him.  

On another note, I also felt disappointed with Gi Hoon living as a homeless man for a year before he finally came to his senses. I felt like the deaths of his loved ones were nothing as he wasted a year of his life doing nothing with the money he won. Well, I cannot blame him for being traumatized, but how I wished he came to see Sae Byeok's brother right away. 

I'd also like to share how I felt with the police and his brother. Though I love that it's Lee Byung Hun, I felt that their story was quite random. Unless there'll be another season, it was unnecessary for the story. I could not find any relevance, sorry. 

To sum it all up, Squid Game teaches us a lot in life. One of which is to be vigilant in our life decisions. The players thought that it's just a game without knowing what it truly entails. Once you go ahead, it might be irreversible. Let's keep in mind that if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Hold it and think about it. Always decide for long-term purposes. 

It also shows us what could happen if we continuously feed our greed. It's a great reminder not to lose our humanity because of greed. 

It's also a great reminder that people are still selfless despite the harshness of the world. We can forgive a gazillion times even if we know that other people don't deserve it. 

Most of all, know who to trust. Betrayal comes in many forms, so you better set your guards up. 

Have you watched Squid Game? What are your thoughts on it? Share them in the comments section below. 

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