Movie Review: The Squid Game

I’m not very quick to jump on hyped movies or tv shows. I remember I saw Titanic 3 years after it was launched. La Casa de Papel, probably after 2 years.

So, when The Squid Game appeared on Netflix, I wasn’t very keen to watch it.

I briefly looked at the trailer, but didn’t get past the black and white childhood recollection (as you can see, I’m using generic names for the scenes, trying not to add any spoilers). In short, it didn’t really catch up on my systems.

But a few days later, I decided to give it another try. I do love Korean cinema, and one of my top 10 ever movies is Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring Again, which I probably watched at least 5 times so far. So, with a little bit of expectations, but not too much, I decided to give The Squid Game a second chance.

After the first episode, I was hooked. So hooked, that I immediately started to apply my standard anti-binging procedure: never watch more than one episode per evening. I do this every time I sense I am caught too much into a show, knowing that if I get too deep, I literally can’t stop. And I kept this procedure until the last two episodes, which I did watch at once.

The Squid Game is a 9 episodes series that can be considered a documentary about the human nature. Again, I will not reveal anything from the plot, as I do believe you should watch it with a clean sheet of paper in front of you. That would not be for somehow keeping track of the game (I just realized you may get this impression), but for you to write down your feelings as the surreal story unfolds. Believe me, there will be a lot of feelings.

The screenplay is the most consistent part of the production. There are parts where the actual implementation, the actual cinematography, is somehow below the promise of the screenplay. Especially in the second part of the series, some parts are a bit artificial. But that doesn’t affect the overall impact of the movie.

The series also has an open ending, which suggest there might be another season. Given the fact that the show was number one in Netflix after just one month in all the countries is a strong indicator there will be pressure for a second season. At this point, I’m not sure it will be as good as the first one, but never say never.

Many characters are schematic, but the main ones do have depth and consistency. Not in the sense that they are plausible, but in the sense of liveness, of authenticity. Parts expressed by the main character are very common, I am sure many people will recognize themselves in him.

All in all, The Squid Game is a 10 out of 10 recommendation. Just a warning that it may be very binge-worth.

Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash

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