Thursday, October 7, 2021

Squid Game

For those of you who cannot get Netflix (like my mom, because streaming doesn't work in rural Montana), I apologize right at the beginning for this post. But for those that can watch Netflix, can we talk about Squid Game without spoilers!

If you haven't seen it, here is the crux. Some down on their luck (for various reasons) men and fewer woman agree with some unknown power to play a number of children's games with the winners splitting a lot of money (the numbers are in Korean Won, so I am not great with the equivalent in US$). What they don't know until the first game, is that the losers in a game are, well, eliminated. Forever.

It is bloody, but not anywhere near American graphic bloddy, which is nice. And we watch the dubbed version, not the subtitled, because with subtitles I often read more than watch.

Now a lot has been made of how this might be the biggest Netflix film in the world. It is currently atop their ratings in most countries. And a number of explanations have been proposed. First, most of the games are fairly universal, so most cultures understand them.

But more importantly, the themes of the ignored middle classes, the expensive of housing and the lack of a support system for senior citizens (unlike the US and most western countries, South Korea doesn't have a retirement payment system in old age. Children are suppose to talk care of the elderly). And the pitting of groups against one another in the working classes drives the dynamics. It is interesting.

Of course, the deeper meanings often get over run in the story telling and games, but it is cool.

Note: I haven't seen the end yet (only up to episode 5), so maybe it gets less cool, but I like it so far.

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