Saumya Somasi


“Do you still have trust in people?” 

Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Squid Game delves into all aspects of human nature, focusing on new bonds of friendship and the tenacity of trust. The 9 episode Netflix original, starring HoYeon Jung and Lee Jung-jae rose quickly to popularity after its release on September 17, 2021.

The plot centered around a very attractive cast (I live for the edits) and the way they grow, bond and falter through a series of life or death games. Perhaps the reason why the show attracted so many fans was due to its character’s questionable actions. The acting and the games themselves definitely put this series on the must-watch list. 

In case you haven’t watched it (I would say go watch it and finish this review afterwards) this is your spoiler alert.

Even critics of the movie (of which there are surprisingly many) must admit it is a great pass time. The plot starts with the main characters stuck in places of high poverty, debt and terrible conditions. From there, the show often shifts pace, slowing down and focusing on the characters and then speeding up to a gory fast-paced game. During the first game I have to admit I was shocked by the change in dynamic. Unfortunately if you were expecting a constantly engaging type of show, I have to admit Squid Game falls a little short. At times, the action drew out to the point where I skipped through the scene. But mostly, my eyes were glued to the screen the whole time, except for the moments I spent sobbing (this happened more often than I would like to admit). 

Let’s start with my personal favorite part— the acting. Not once did I question the validity of the actors or actresses (meaning they didn’t give me TikTok vibes). They expressed the emotions expected and kept me longing for more. Even the worst characters with the most complicated personalities were portrayed in ways that made me pity them. Cho Sang-Woo, who killed not one but two of my favorite characters, had me empathizing with the way he was feeling and crying for his mother after his death. My only wish was that these characters had more time developing the relations between them and their own individual personalities. The hardest deaths for me were from the characters that weren’t featured as heavily and whose relationships were basically neglected.

However, there were definitely areas where I was not as enamored with the show as I would have liked to have been. The final game, for one, dragged on for far too long with far too predictable an outcome (but who am I to judge?). In all fairness Netflix has started to put out some incredible short series and this is definitely one of them.

The series definitely had me questioning all aspects of trust, faith and love, especially as I bawled my eyes out over characters I barely knew or flinched at the almost obscene images. The show certainly picked a good time to air, with a lot of talent and a little luck making it one of the most popular shows to date. But this isn’t really a surprise, as audiences of Squid Game know that “Good rain knows the best time to fall.”