Squid Game, the South Korean TV Series has been one of the most widely watched shows worldwide, earning more than a billion dollars for Netflix. The nine-episode series is a fictitious tale about hundreds of players, most of them debt-ridden and desperate being invited to play survival games with lucrative rewards and bloody consequences.
The series by Hwang Dong-hyuk can serve as a great study for film-making students on how to write a gripping screenplay – it has a hero(es) who we can identify with, identifiable bad guys, hundreds of characters we care little about providing the ambience, a dysfunctional society that we all suffer from, clear win or lose at the end of each episode, suspense at the beginning of each episode and an overall mystery that runs throughout the series. The important characters get their backstories and compulsions defined and revealed gradually, with no single character other than the lead getting any undue attention – at the same time, we are able to form an impression about each of them. The art department and computer graphics are simple but impressive.
I was disappointed with the first thirty minutes of the first episode, it was cliche, to say the least, but the momentum picks up once the players arrive. Without any spoilers, I will say this. The show has a lot of blood, and gory visuals that will make our spine chill – but without those gut-churning scenes, the show would be nothing more than the German TV game shows from the 1970s and the 80s. After watching the show, I am wondering whether the audience around the world have got normalised to watching these horrifying scenes? Has the pandemic nulled our humanity? Or is it that the audiences have become mature to treat this just like a good horror or zombie film? Share your thoughts in the comments below.