Squid Game: Netflix’s New Death Game Drama

Netflix has just released the hottest new series of 2021: Squid Game. It reached the top in 22 countries within 4 days of release. Let us introduce this creative work!

This is a Korean drama about hundreds of individuals, each driven by debt, who enter the survival game. To start a fresh life with a large cash prize. But not everyone can win. Those who do not succeed must be prepared for a fatal end.

Here are four intriguing aspects of the series.

1. Survival Game & Childhood Game

©2021. Netflix. all rights reserved.

It follows the universality of genres and materials, while well-dissolving the uniqueness of Korea within it. You can think of Kingdom combining the characteristics of Korean historical dramas with zombies.

Squid Game also brought a genre called ‘death game’ again where you risk your life to participate in the game. Death game has gained a lot of popularity after Battle Royale in 2000, and has established itself as a genre enjoyed by American and European audiences. Squid Game reinforced the universality of modern people’s desires and frustrations that can be sympathized with anywhere in the world.

The unique selling point of Squid Game is that it enticed foreign viewers by combining Korean childhood games such as ‘The Flower of Mugunghwa has bloomed,’ ‘Marble games,’ and ‘Dalgona ppopgi.’

2. Creative Visual Design

©2021. Netflix. all rights reserved.

The game takes place in a beautiful-looking setting that seems to be representing children’s dreams. When adults play violent games in a world of vibrant primary colors, the psychological contrast is twice as great. The production team cut down on computer graphics as much as feasible to make the game as realistic as possible. It’s been said that the actors were equally overwhelmed by the realistic atmosphere they encountered as soon as they stepped on the set.

3. The dark side of Korean society

The game’s organizers stress that “we never forced the game,” implying that it is a free choice and that the players are responsible for it. The film’s narrative was designed to show modern folks who are driven into endless rivalry. We compete with something whether we like it or not, and this is referred to as “voluntary” by society.

The game’s organizers make a point of stressing the slogan “equality.” They kept saying that everyone should have an equal chance to play, and they stressed the importance of participating in the game on fair terms and conditions. They also provided an example by hanging those who perpetrate injustice. However, this scenario contains a contradiction. Those who are physically weak, such as women and the elderly, are continually excluded from the group.

©2021. Netflix. all rights reserved.

4. All-star casting

©2021. Netflix. all rights reserved.

Casting was also the talk of the town in Korea.

Lee Jung-jae, who plays the main character Ki-hoon, is a top star representing Korea. Park Hae-soo, who plays Ki-hoon‘s buddy Sang-woo, is another well-known star for his acting abilities. In addition, Jung Ho-yeon, who portrays North Korean defector Sae-Byeok, is a professional model and former contestant on season 4 of Korea’s Next Top Model.

If you are curious about their other works, see the links below.

Lee Jung-jae in “New World

Park Hae-soo in “Prison Playbook

Jung Ho-yeon <Hoyeon Jung 2018 FW>

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