Squid Game: how is the Netflix k-drama series
Two years after Parasite, another South Korean work forcefully enters the collective imagination, blending drama, violence and social reflection. We are talking about Squid Game, a 9-episode k-drama series available a few days ago Netflix. A bit of Alice in Borderland, the colorful sadism typical of Takeshi’s Castle, the mystery behind the Cube – The Cube trilogy and very Battle Royale, an unsurpassed reference point for all death games in the cinematic or serial field. These are the ingredients of a choral story, full of action and twists, which despite its deep roots in the culture of South Korea manages to speak to every type of spectator, working on universal themes such as existential unease, class conflict. , opportunism and cooperation.
We are in Seoul, where 456 people in very serious economic difficulties are hired by a mysterious organization for a series of knockout games, at the end of which the prize pool of 45.6 billion won, equal to about 33 million euros, will be awarded. Soon, the participants realize that in-game elimination leads to a brutal killing. A horror overcome by the desperation of the players, who, despite having the possibility of abandoning the game, decide to continue, aware that the faint ray of hope offered to them is still worth more than their life. Squid Game focuses on some of the contestants such as Seong Gi-hun, who plays to get the funds to treat his sick mother and secure custody of his daughter, North Korean refugee Kang Sae-byeok and Oh Il-nam, an elderly man with cancer. incurable.
Squid Game: the new worldwide phenomenon from Netflix
After the Spanish series La casa di carta, Netflix achieves the difficult goal of imposing its own original product to the world attention, inextricably linked to a specific territory, thanks above all to themes with a strong hold on the public and a simple and understandable story also to the spectators. not scholars of South Korean society. The playful component of the plot and the pastel-colored scenography are also fundamental, two other elements that help keep the viewer’s attention alive even in moments when the rhythm and intensity drop abruptly. Just like La casa di carta, Squid Game also blows on intolerance and social disparity, the main themes of a story that, despite the extreme violence of some passages and the lacerating lives of its characters, never digs into the depths of the discomforts it exposes, stopping at the surface of the problems.
Unlike the aforementioned Parasite, which, ranging from comedy to horror, stages a lucid and pungent representation of society disguised as a class clash, Squid Game is based on the poignant human puzzle of its successful characters, limiting itself to sketching the social context in they move and hit peaks of maddening Manichaeism, with sadistic and bored villains pitted against competitors who rarely emerge for their most negative characteristics, and even when they do they are implicitly justified by the desperate situation in which they find themselves. In this sharp contrast between Good and Evil, it is above all the crazy splinters that convince, such as the gambler who opposes the massacre or the participants who gradually turn towards brutality and ferocity, in a cruel staging of the most sinister aspects and gruesome of the survival instinct.
Between horror and a childish dimension
In spite of the various gory sequences, Squid Game almost seems to constantly claim its light, almost childlike nature. From the games in which the protagonists have to try their hand (One, two, three, star !, the marbles) to the comic uniforms of the attendants who monitor the events, passing through the effective flashback with which the first episode opens, during which it is explained in great detail the squid game that gives the title to the series, many details of this k-drama reconnect us with our childish dimension, the most dreamy and carefree age of life, in stark contrast to the problems of the competitors.
Between unexpected and unexpected turns, more or less successful characters and some decidedly forced passage, Squid Game manages to entertain for about 9 hours, offering the viewer a glimpse of a suggestive and fascinating culture and at the same time pushing the deepening of the flourishing trend of survival game in the cinematographic, serial and literary fields. During the second season, on which the epilogue leaves a door wide open, there will certainly be time and way to deepen aspects overshadowed by the first cycle of episodes. In the meantime, we are satisfied with a derivative series but with undeniable effectiveness, which deserves credit for having managed to bring together tens of millions of people all over the world in front of a story that is anything but welcoming.