Squid Game Movie (1)

Squid Game 2021 Movie Review


In the world of television and streaming services, certain productions emerge as cultural phenomena, captivating audiences worldwide and sparking widespread discussions. One such phenomenon is the South Korean survival drama series, Squid Game. Released in 2021, Squid Game quickly became a global sensation, captivating viewers with its gripping storyline, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes. In this comprehensive review, we delve deep into the intricate details of Squid Game, exploring its narrative, character arcs, visual elements, impact, controversies, and more.

Overview of Squid Game

What is Squid Game?

Squid Game is a television series created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, which debuted on Netflix in September 2021. Set in modern-day South Korea, the series follows the story of 456 financially struggling individuals who are invited to participate in a mysterious competition with the promise of a lucrative cash prize. Unbeknownst to them, the games they must play are deadly, with failure resulting in fatal consequences.


The series begins by introducing the protagonist, Seong Gi-hun, a down-on-his-luck divorcee struggling to provide for his daughter. Gi-hun, along with hundreds of other contestants, is lured into participating in a series of children’s games with the hope of winning a substantial cash prize. However, as the games progress, the true nature of the competition is revealed, forcing the contestants to confront their deepest fears and make life-or-death decisions.

Key Themes and Messages


At its core, Squid Game is a story of survival. The contestants are thrust into a deadly competition where they must outwit, outplay, and outlast their opponents to emerge victorious. The series explores the lengths to which individuals are willing to go to ensure their own survival, as well as the moral dilemmas they face along the way.

Human Greed

Another central theme in Squid Game is human greed. The characters’ desperate desire for financial security drives them to participate in the deadly games, highlighting the destructive nature of unchecked greed and its consequences on both individuals and society as a whole. The series serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of placing material wealth above human life.


Squid Game also shines a spotlight on the stark inequalities present in modern society. The contestants come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, yet they are all united by their financial struggles and desperation for a better life. The series exposes the harsh realities of poverty, privilege, and systemic oppression, challenging viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about the world we live in.

Character Analysis


Gi-hun serves as the emotional anchor of Squid Game, navigating the treacherous games while grappling with his own inner demons. His journey from a desperate gambler to a reluctant hero is at the heart of the series, as he forms alliances, confronts adversaries, and ultimately fights for a chance at redemption.


Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend and former business partner, is a complex and morally ambiguous character. Despite his charming exterior, Sang-woo harbors dark secrets and is willing to betray others to further his own interests. His tragic arc serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of unchecked ambition and moral compromise.


Seong-gi, also known as “Ali,” is a migrant worker from Pakistan who forms a close bond with Gi-hun during the games. His character highlights the struggles faced by immigrants in South Korea and serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of economic inequality. Despite facing discrimination and hardship, Seong-gi maintains his dignity and integrity throughout the series.

Visuals and Cinematography

Set design

The set design of Squid Game is nothing short of breathtaking, transporting viewers into a dystopian world filled with ominous yet visually striking landscapes. From the neon-lit game arenas to the stark contrast of the players’ living quarters, every detail is meticulously crafted to immerse viewers in the story’s bleak atmosphere and heightened tension.


The costumes worn by the contestants in Squid Game are both iconic and symbolic, reflecting the characters’ journey and adding depth to their portrayal. The vividly colored tracksuits and eerie masks worn by the contestants serve as visual motifs that represent their struggle for survival and the dehumanizing nature of the games.


The cinematography of Squid Game is masterful, with sweeping aerial shots, intense close-ups, and dynamic camera movements that enhance the tension and suspense of the games. The use of color, lighting, and framing effectively conveys the emotional depth of the characters’ experiences, immersing viewers in the high-stakes world of Squid Game.

Impact and Reception

Global phenomenon

Since its release, Squid Game has taken the world by storm, captivating audiences across continents and breaking numerous viewership records. Its compelling storyline, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes have resonated with viewers of all ages and backgrounds, making it a cultural phenomenon unlike any other.

Critical acclaim

Squid Game has received widespread critical acclaim for its gripping narrative, stellar performances, and innovative storytelling. Critics and audiences alike have praised its boldness, originality, and willingness to tackle difficult subject matter, cementing its status as one of the most influential television series of recent years.

Comparison with Other Works

Battle Royale

Squid Game has drawn comparisons to the Japanese novel and film, Battle Royale, which also explores the concept of a deadly competition among young people. While both works share similar themes of survival and societal commentary, Squid Game distinguishes itself with its unique cultural context, character development, and narrative depth.

The Hunger Games

Another work often compared to Squid Game is The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Both stories center around a dystopian society where individuals are pitted against each other in a fight for survival. However, Squid Game offers a more nuanced examination of class struggle, inequality, and the human condition, elevating it beyond mere spectacle.

Controversies and Criticisms

Graphic content

Squid Game has faced criticism for its graphic violence and disturbing imagery, particularly in its portrayal of the games’ deadly consequences. Some viewers have expressed concern over the series’ impact on sensitive audiences and its potential desensitization to violence, prompting debates about censorship and artistic freedom.

Social commentary

Despite its acclaim, Squid Game has also sparked debate over its handling of sensitive social issues, such as poverty, immigration, and mental health. While many commend the series for its bold storytelling and provocative themes, others argue that it oversimplifies complex issues or relies too heavily on shock value, raising questions about its ethical implications and societal impact.


In conclusion, Squid Game is a groundbreaking television series that pushes the boundaries of storytelling and challenges viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about the world we live in. Its gripping narrative, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes have captivated audiences worldwide, sparking meaningful discussions


  • Q: Is Squid Game suitable for all audiences?
    • A: Squid Game contains graphic violence and mature themes, so viewer discretion is advised. It may not be suitable for younger audiences or those who are sensitive to such content.
  • Q: What makes Squid Game stand out from other television series?
    • A: Squid Game distinguishes itself with its gripping storyline, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes. It offers a unique blend of suspense, drama, and social commentary that resonates with audiences worldwide.
  • Q: Are there any cultural references in Squid Game that non-Korean viewers might miss?
    • A: While Squid Game is primarily set in South Korea, its themes of survival, inequality, and human greed are universal. However, there may be cultural nuances and references that non-Korean viewers might not fully grasp without context.
  • Q: How has Squid Game impacted popular culture since its release?
    • A: Squid Game has become a global phenomenon, inspiring memes, fan theories, and discussions across social media platforms. It has also sparked renewed interest in South Korean cinema and television, paving the way for more diverse and inclusive storytelling.
  • Q: What are some of the key takeaways from Squid Game?
    • A: Squid Game prompts viewers to reflect on issues such as inequality, privilege, and the human capacity for both cruelty and compassion. It serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of greed and the importance of empathy and solidarity in an increasingly divided world.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *