REVIEW: “Squid Game” breaks records, wins hearts

“Squid Game” is a Korean Netflix original show that has piqued massive interest worldwide. On pace to break the Netflix streaming record for most hours watched, “Squid Game” has thrust millions of people into learning about Korean culture and customs. All over the internet, people are cosplaying characters or recreating foods and games that took place in the series. 

The show is about 456 financially struggling people taking part in six different games to win life-changing money. The total payout for the show was $38 million. The show depicts the mental and physical obstacles that the contestants face when they realize that to win, other players must pay with their lives. “Squid Game” focuses heavily on the way humans act when put in survival mode.

The show follows three main characters. Gi-Hun, a middle-aged man who is trying to save his daughter from being taken to the U.S. by her step dad, and is trying to pay off all the money he owes to multiple people. He is not the smartest or physically strongest character, but he makes up for it with his mental strength and kindness. 

Sae-Byeok is a North Korean defector who is playing to save her little brother from an orphanage and to get enough money to bring her mother across the border. She is a closed-off and reserved character who trusts nobody, but must open up to survive. 

Sang-Woo is an extremely intelligent but selfish businessman who grew up best friends with Gi-Hun. Sang-Woo is wanted by the authorities for various crimes that put him millions in debt. On the outside, he makes everything seem fine, but in reality, he is broken on the inside. 

After writing "Squid Games" in 2008, Hwang Dong-Hyuk was given the opportunity to bring his idea to Netflix. His patience paid off as his idea became a major success. The actors' ability evoked emotion and created a sense of reality despite the show being fiction. The pacing and acting never made me doze off or lose interest.

With that said, watch “Squid Game” in Korean to get the full experience. The English dubbed version of the show feels incomplete compared to watching with subtitles. 

This show garnered more interest from me than other Netflix originals. As of Oct.10, the series is at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes which is an amazing score and I agree with it. 

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