Watch Squid Game (2021) | Synopsis and Review

Title: Squid Game / 오징어 게임 / Ohjingeo Geim
Previous Title Round Six
Genre: Suspense, adventure, action, drama
Format: Web drama
Episodes: 9
Showing Channel: Netflix
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Production Company: Siren Pictures Inc.
Director: Hwang Dong-Hyuk (황동혁)
Screenwriter: Hwang Dong-Hyuk (황동혁)
Duration of Each Episode: 60 minutes
Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)
Korean language
Country of Origin: South Korea
Cast List:
  • Lee Jung Jae as Seong Gi Hoon
  • Park Hae Soo as Cho Sang Woo
  • Oh Young Soo (오영수) as Il Nam
  • Wi Ha Joon as Hwang Joon Ho
  • Jung Ho Yun (정호연) as Sae Byuk
  • Heo Sung Tae as gangster Duk Soo
  • Kim Joo Ryung (김주령) as Minyeo (beautiful woman)
  • Gong Yoo

Squid Game Synopsis:

The story of 456 people who are invited to participate in a deadly survival game with 45.6 billion won ($40 million USD) as prizes - which only one person can win.

After his business fails, Seong Gi Hoon, a debt-ridden driver lives his life using his aging mother's money to gamble while he fails to support his mother and biological daughter. When his life finally hits rock bottom, he receives a tantalizing offer that promises him a 45.6 billion prize if he wins the traditional Korean game against 455 other players, one of whom is his friend Cho Sang Woo. Upon starting the game, the participants immediately realized the deadly consequences they would face if they lost. 

Squid Game poster

Squid Game Review:

Who is curious about this one drama? Or have you been carried away by the excitement and come to watch? Since its first release on September 17 on Netflix, this drama has become a hot topic of discussion everywhere and has even entered the list of Top 10 popular dramas on Netflix in various countries. However, it turns out that this drama is not only an achievement, this drama has also drawn controversy because of its resemblance to other dramas/films, the most widely mentioned being the Japanese film "As The Gods Will" because apart from being both a survival game genre, but both are also the same using children's games. Opinions from the audience also varied, some were very praising, some said it was normal, and some were less than satisfied.

This kind of survival game genre is quite unique and we rarely find it in Korea, even though in its neighboring country, Japan, this genre is a very popular genre. Many manga, anime, dramas, and films lift the genre of survival games. Call it "Battle Royale" which is a very famous survival game film and even has many fans to this day or "As The Gods Will" which is often mentioned lately because it is considered to take the same theme as this drama, there is "Alice in Borderland" which last year also rocked Netflix and many others. Maybe because by Korean standards, this genre is too sadistic and too fantasy. As far as Kaze knows, there has been a drama "Liar Game", an adaptation of a Japanese drama with the same title, which takes the survival game genre as well, but with a sadistic portion and several settings that are changed from the original. The script for the Squid Game drama also turned out to have been working on for a long time by the author, but unfortunately, it was considered too sadistic and did not attract the interest of viewers in South Korea, so it was rejected by the production companies until finally it was glimpsed by Netflix and was released.

For fans of this kind of genre, the teaser and synopsis presented by the squid game are very interesting. The names of the main cast of actors that were revealed added to the curiosity and looked forward to their release soon. But unfortunately, it seems that the expectations for this drama are too high, so there are several things that make Kaze disappointed with the execution of this drama.

The presentation of a storyline that is full of twists or plot twists is the most important element of the survival game genre drama. Because the core story of this kind of genre is usually more or less the same, then writers and directors must be creative in managing the storyline. But somehow this drama seems less successful in executing the plot twist. Indeed, there are some that seem to be plot twists, but the effects are less surprising and even relatively easy for the audience to guess, especially those who have never or often watched this genre. Kaze is even more surprised by the cameos that appear in it..

Apart from plot twists, another important factor is game selection. Sometimes we don't think that a simple game or one that relies on luck can be thought out logically and a gap is found in order to win it. In this drama, it seems almost all games rely on luck. The main character can also innocently always be lucky in critical times. The tension in the game becomes less intense and yes, although it is clear that 90% of the main characters will survive until the end, at least it gives the audience a moment to understand and agree that the main character deserves to win. The most interesting game for Kaze is the first game (red light and green light), but unfortunately, some have been revealed in the teaser. Indeed, there are several strategies used in each game, but it feels less 'wow' and some feel a bit strange. In the end, luck still feels the main factor.

For those who rarely watch survival game-themed dramas, this drama will be very exciting and unique, but for those who have often watched similar dramas, this drama may be less challenging and feels 'bearing' in some parts, including the ending (perhaps to open up the possibility of a new season). advanced). But yeah, back to taste huh... Of course for a drama of this type, squid game is quite safe for those of you who can't watch disgusting bloody sadistic scenes because the portions are smaller and not too clearly shown.

Like Korean dramas in general that want an element of 'drama' and some kind of logical background, squid game does not only focus on the game and how to win it. This drama takes the background story of people whose lives are in debt so they are willing to sacrifice themselves to get money and pay off their debts. In addition to the players' point of view, the audience is also invited to explore the mechanics behind this structured game, who is the mastermind, what is the purpose? The concept is interesting, but the execution feels tedious as if there is too much to be packaged in 9 episodes of the story so that in the end many feel bear. The gameplay isn't great, the plot twists don't bite, there's too much going on behind the scenes, and the background drama for the main players doesn't really feel good. Some scenes also feel random, especially the scene at the end.

Apart from some disappointment with the execution and plot of this drama, Kaze admits that the selection of the players deserves thumbs up. Rows of familiar names and faces, even some veterans are seen in this drama. And of course, they succeeded in building their character well. In addition, the design of the game location is very attractive and beautiful, the selection of cheerful color combinations seems to try to eliminate the 'gloomy' impression that is typical of this kind of drama. The studio settings can be said to be instagrammable and beautiful.

This drama Kaze recommends for those of you who want to watch dramas about survival games but with minimal levels of sadism and horror. For fans of this type of genre drama, it's also quite interesting to watch, but it's best not to give too high expectations first... Considering this is a Korean drama, not a neighboring country drama.
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