Squid Game: The Incredible Squid Hit On Netflix

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Squid Game ignites crowds on Netflix

It is more than the series of the moment, it is undoubtedly the most watched series on the Netflix streaming platform. The Squid Game or Squid Game or Round Six, is a television series composed of nine episodes of an average duration of 50 minutes (episode 8 strangely lasts 30 minutes). It comes from South Korea from screenwriter and director Dong-hyuk Hwang.

The argument is simple: several hundred people from disadvantaged backgrounds are more or less taken against their will to an island off the coast of the country to play deadly games. The winner will win a prize pool of nearly $ 50 million. If the squid game only appears at the beginning and end, it is worth remembering that it was originally child’s play and that it was played mainly in the 70s and 80s.

The unlikely hero of this series that is inspired by Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale is named Seong Gi-hun, a failed and divorced driver who lives with his mother and spends money borrowed from gangsters on gambling. It is this protagonist that we will follow throughout the nine episodes. His development is quite remarkable and it is not difficult for us to identify with this father who seeks to raise money by all means to find the light in his daughter’s eyes.

But he is obviously not alone and will have many competitors ready to do anything to remain the last survivor. We come across a jumble of an old man, a mobster, a North Korean defector, a scammer, a Pakistani immigrant, and many others.

A scathing critique of South Korean society

If at first glance Squid Game is an ultraviolet series that delights us, a second level of reading appears when we scratch and become a little more interested in the context. You should know that South Korea is still a very patriarchal and traditionalist society. The man must have a good education and a good job. Like Japan, we must always preserve appearances, the truth can bring disgrace to the family.

This is how the capture of these disadvantaged and poor people who are gathered in a place far from the eyes and hidden from everyone, portrays a South Korean reality: poverty is frowned upon and cannot be brought to light in the light of day . and liberal country. This is all the more true as the population ages with increasingly scarce pensions, forcing children to pamper their parents.

We also notice a direct hierarchy and clans forming at the beginning of the series. Among them, Ali, the Pakistani of origin who plays the card of the good immigrant, because he knows that he will never be integrated into this very focused society. In addition, his skin color automatically relegates him to a second or even third zone citizen, as does his handicap, which “must hide to avoid being seen as a weakling” according to another character.

The same goes for women who are de facto considered weak beings, while they are the most intelligent, resourceful and charismatic of the series.

On the side of the antagonists, we see this hyper-hierarchy that also exists in the country’s societies. An almost large-scale reproduction of what is happening in these companies and the abuses that occur there.

Lost in translation

However, even if we do not speak Korean and enjoy the series with the subtitles, you should know that the latter are not so faithful. In question, the extremely tight time and budget offered to translators who do what they can with what they have. According to some “Korean fans,” the disparity is such that we lose a lot of subtlety when we don’t have to deal with blatant misinterpretations. It’s a shame and the blame is obviously on Netflix, which operates these exchanges in all languages.

A success that is not without consequences

The success of this exciting thriller is not without consequences for Netflix. In fact, given the growing popularity of its content, Netflix is ​​being sued by a South Korean Internet service provider, SK Broadband, demanding compensation for the excess generated. You might think that the Asian company is greedy, but that would be forgetting that this is a process that is used in the United States, where the American company pays local ISPs for the excess. It is normal to do it elsewhere.

Humble origins for Squid Game

According to its creator, Dong-hyuk Hwang, Squid Game was written in a year between 2007 and 2008, but it was rejected by all the studios that had the script in hand. In an interview with the Korea Times, Hwang said: “After a dozen years, the world has changed and it has become a place where violent and quirky survival stories are now welcome.” The screenwriter even said that script writing had to pause while selling his laptop before buying a more affordable one, as his finances were tight.

Nothing strange when we discover two similar series a year apart on the platform. Last year it was Alice in Borderland, based on the manga of the same name, and a free re-reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, that kept us going.

Also, with the arrival of Halloween, it is a good time to get henchman costumes or others inspired by the series. You can find it here or there.

Thanks to Eujin and Fabien Collard for the information on South Korea.

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