Ananta Evader, Worldwide Relations, MSc

Netflix’s latest cultural sensation Squid Sport offers an in-depth social critique of the fashionable capitalistic system, encapsulating the ‘debt-trap’ scenario and the contradiction of ‘prosperity dream’. Though the collection has been profitable in turning into probably the most watched TV collection within the historical past of Netflix, it’s not completely an unique product as the overall viewers might are likely to assume.

Squid Sport revolves across the annual ‘battle-royale’ recreation, wherein the chosen contestants are folks struggling to pay massive quantities of debt. The sport gives a complete of 45.6 billion received (£28.6 billion) because the profitable prize for the final man standing. Every spherical within the battle options totally different video games impressed by Korean conventional childhood video games from the 70s and 80s (comparable to ‘Crimson Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle’ dan dalgona recreation which have turn into widespread internet-memes).

Courtesy of IMDB

The collection efficiently manages to include the nativity and nostalgic expertise of a standard childhood recreation, character-development, and black comedy to create an exciting and sympathetic expertise for its viewers. Director and Author Hwang Dong-Hyuk manages to create characters from totally different backgrounds whom the viewers can sympathise with or love-to-hate. As well as, Dong-Hyuk brilliantly executes the motion scenes (significantly the sport rounds) with components of suspense, darkish comedy and generally tear-jerking experiences. The motion scenes handle to mess with the viewers’s minds by way of unpredictability of the occasion outcomes and painting human corruption when dealing with a life-threatening scenario.

Just like different Ok-Dramas, Squid Sport has a slower tempo in comparison with fast-paced western drama to permit for character improvement and world-building, posing as a double-edged sword for Netflix. Whereas releasing all of the episodes on the identical day seems like a drag as in comparison with the a lot anticipated weekly launch of South Korean dramas; the binge-viewing format permits foreigners unfamiliar with Ok-Dramas to benefit from the collection with out painfully ready for every week, particularly after a cliff-hanger!

Courtesy of IMDB

Squid Sport additionally manages to offer an outline of social critique in regard to the inhuman battle of sophistication mobility, failed optimism and the ‘debt-trap’ throughout the capitalist system. Characters comparable to Seong Gi-hun (performed by Lee Gi-Hun), Kang Sae-Byeok (performed by Jung Ho-yeon) and Abdul Ali (performed by Anupam Tripathi) battle from their failure to conduct social mobility throughout the fashionable capitalistic South Korean society. Moreover, the struggles of Sae-Byeok (a North Korean defector) and Ali (an immigrant from Pakistan) spotlight how foreigners have travelled to South Korea to attain the ‘prosperity dream’ for a greater high quality of life. In doing so, a number of the contestants are keen to lend unpayable quantities of debt as a software to attain their desires in life resulting in the ‘debt-trap’. Episode 2 of the sport manages to spotlight this ‘debt-trap’ dilemma, the place the contestants are trapped in the actual world resulting from their debt compensation obligation after they undergo from psychological shock of the primary spherical of the sport. Because of this, they’re pressured to re-enter the sport as the one technique to escape this ‘debt-trap’ and to attain prosperity.

Class struggles are additionally demonstrated successfully via the manufacturing design and screenwriting. The previous is achieved by contrasting the undesirable residing circumstances of the guards’ bedrooms with the 24/7 surveillance, small-sized beds and motion restricted contestants’ corridor. Moreover, the screenplay sarcastically critiques democratic states for not offering a security web to guard the poor from ‘debt-traps’, however apply the rules of democratic system comparable to equal rights and majority-based voting system for all contestants.

Courtesy of IMDB

Moreover, Squid Sport doesn’t ship one thing unique by way of the idea and themes in comparison with different Ok-Dramas. As an alternative, Squid Sport is taken into account because the product of cultural amalgamation from totally different tendencies worldwide comparable to Japanese’s battle royale style, the rising recognition of social critique films inside Korea’s cinema trade comparable to Bo-Jong Ho movies, Silence (2011) and A Taxi Driver (2017) and Netflix’s rising investments towards South Korea dramas resulting from success in Asian area is resemblant of one other cultural phenomenon comparable to Pacman (1980) which discovered success resulting from cultural globalisation.

Featured Picture: IMDB


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