Squid Game Review

What would happen if you found 456 people in crippling debt and put them in a series of children’s games for a chance to pay off their debt? You get an internet-breaking Netflix show. Squid Game tackles the depths of humanity: how far are people willing to go for money?

Squid Game, named after a Korean children’s game, follows the main character Seong Gi-Hun. Gi-Hun is a complete failure in society’s eyes: after being laid off from his factory job, he has been living off of his elderly mother and over the years has accrued over six billion won ($3.8 million) in debt. With a terrible gambling habit and an even worse money-borrowing habit, there is no solution in sight.

After Gi-Hun loses the small amount of money his mother gave him for his daughter’s birthday, he meets a mysterious man in the subway who invites him to participate in a series of games. If he wins, he will win over $38 million, but unbeknownst to him, when a player loses a game, they are eliminated by gunshot.

Throughout the games, alliances are formed, backs are stabbed and friendships are broken. The viewers feel sad as they watch characters that they have grown attached to be killed off.

The series overall touches on what society values. We emphasize money as being the most important thing in society, causing people to suffer just because they do not have the money they need. Furthermore, the series has an interesting discussion on knowing when to quit, as Cho Sang Woo, one of the main characters and childhood friend to Gi-Hun, bet his mother’s grocery shop away, causing him to not even be able to declare bankruptcy. As a student fortunate enough to go to a good school, it was intriguing to me to observe how great the desperation within humans can grow. It serves as a warning to not make the mistakes of the characters within the series or else you will end up trapped by your desperation. As Eleanor Roosevelt believed, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Should you watch the series? If you have 10 hours to spare, yes! I do have to warn that the series has a good amount of gore if that is a red flag for you; otherwise the series is an entertaining and valuable experience, with engaging characters and interesting twists. I give it an overall rating of 8.5/10.

Daniel Li ’22

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