Tag Archives: The Maze Runner

TV Review – Squid Game

A wealthy secret organization invites scores of participants who suffer financial crises and heavy loans. The participants eagerly join and are sent to a secret place for a few days where they have to accept the rules and play six games to win the jackpot. Little do they know the price they have to pay to end their financial miseries. They have zero clue about the horrors they have to confront.

Yes, there have been similar plots before like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner but this South Korean tv show Squid Game cannot be compared for having similar elements. One, the former shows were adapted from their novels but the latter is created by the writer and director himself, Hwang Dong-hyuk. Plus the script of Squid Game was developed back in 2008 when the creator himself was in financial crisis too. So let’s assume that the foundation of this show was laid by his own lows. Indeed, the stories are gritty, moving, and compelling when you have bad times in life. Would the show have worked if produced in 2008? A kind of million-dollar question applicable in George Lucas‘ shoes when Star Wars was struggling to exist after Star Trek happened a decade ago.

I think Squid Game qualifies to be considered a complete source of entertainment where the games, the anticipation, the drama, and the suspense was thrilling, mesmerizing; and in all honesty, the show built a tremendous harmony of dark elements and forced humor in the writing. Just super brilliant work in the production design, contrasting colors of the interior so compelling and you are in some hypnotic illusion when the synchronized ladder climbing from different directions trying to reach the event.

The show is meeting immense global popularity and the kind of plot is hooking millions of viewers around the world, the story must also be subjected to observe how the ugliness of realities are made so warmly welcomed. Squid Game is easily one of the darkest satire on social capitalism on the global level. The highly rich people having fun of witnessing the poor turned into evils and murderers for the greed and hunger for money. Exaggeration of childhood games placed on adults becoming some harmless flying birds for the hunting season.

The world-famous music, ‘The Blue Danube‘ has found a new place in history and will be remembered for a reason. I must also admit that it wasn’t certainly perfectly crafted writing at all. Dong-hyuk did miss some portions that he should have taken into account. The heaviest of all criticism rests over lacking character developments. For example, I wanted to know the making of the Front Man. There was so much potential in the character but didn’t utilize. Police officer Hwang and the foreigner Ali Abdul were wasted. Ali Abdul’s introduction was one of the most intense scenes of the show when he holds Gi-hun from one hand before the girl looks back.

If there is a follow-up season then I think the creator has made a big mistake in the ending. With all the limited content offered for the writing of the plot, the story concludes with most of the characters meeting their deserving ends. So continuing out of nowhere, you need much a bigger picture to attract the viewers for eight or nine new episodes again. The biggest revelation in the finale was needless. But again, do we really need the second season? Can you just leave that secret organization and the dirty power kill scores of participants? Should the madness be stopped by someone or was that a slap on our hypocritic cheek? So if there is the second season then the writer, with all the global hype, is taking a huge responsibility.

But overall, Squid Game is one of the most exciting shows released by Netflix. This is easily recommendable to all the viewers who are looking for a potential story.

Book Review: The Maze Runner (2009)

Although I am not a keen viewer nor do I prefer watching films of the science-fiction genre despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones top the list of my favourite film franchises and TV shows. One day, my brother suggested watching a film of the same genre and that was The Maze Runner which I never heard before. My only piece of knowledge about the film was that Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones, was the part of this film. That wasn’t enough but somehow I made my mind to watch even without any of its stills or a trailer.

It took some time to understand the happenings inside a dystopian state where all young kids are stuck at some place in The Maze called The Glade. The Glade has four large walls and each wall has The Door which opens every morning and closes every evening before the dark. To reveal the mystery and dig the existence of the outside world from those Doors, few of the captives run and return before evening to collect the info. The runners then reveal that there are many creatures towards the path which has appendages such as spikes and shears. Those creatures are called The Grievers.

The last two individuals who arrive at this sorry place are the main characters of the film, Thomas, and Teresa. Together they dig the mystery how they ended here and what is the reason behind dropping at this place. Later on, they discover the purpose that all the individuals in The Maze are kept on trials to survive this place.

The fittest will survive and return back to The Creators who sent them on trials in The Maze. The Creators are a group of agents of the organisation called WICKED (World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department). This organisation was formed to find the cure for The Flare, a virus that eats away the brain of the human and turns them into cannibals. The humans who suffer this disease are called The Cranks.

As a viewer, I found the plot of the film very interesting enough to make my mind to read the book with the same title. And when I read, I found a lot of changes but those changes were made in the film for dramatic impact which often happens with almost every book-inspired film.

The book, written by James Dashner, obviously is more open to defining the major characters and the places mentioned. What is more of an interest is how the pages are making Thomas build for a certain cause. How he is grabbing the attention of everyone in the book is very natural. Teresa has a more onscreen appearance in the film as compared to the book as she is in a coma for more than half of the reading since her arrival in The Maze. Also, both Thomas and Teresa are telepathic in the book. Why not in the film? Well, I believe it does make sense.

The best thing about reading a novel is that the reader visits the universe of the author whose subconscious mind creates a powerful fictional story. When I was reading, I felt the existence of Thomas passing through The Doors of The Walls and facing The Grievers and that is the beauty of writing a novel that sends the reader to the universe of those pages.

One factor what I certainly liked about James’ creativity of the plot was the brain behind the construction of the maze and the purpose of sending humans. That is very very human and close to reality. James re-wrote the concept of evolution and theory of survival under his creativity. We all humans are sent to earth for some reason. Our brain doesn’t develop in the earlier phase but with time, it grows and we even memorise some portions of our earliest of living phase. And we have to survive. God send us humans on trials, we are put to test. God is The Creator, I am Thomas, the rest are fellow Gladers, my partner in crime is Teresa, my obstacles are The Grievers, and Satan is The Flare. Marvellous job James!

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