Squid Game has become another example of the powerhouse of the Korean Entertainment industry, having become the number one streaming series of choice for Netflix subscribers around the world and at the same time integrating itself into social media memes, discussions and more until you cannot logon without seeing it mentioned. However, being of foreign origin, the series has obviously brought with it the age-old debate of whether such a show should be watched in the native language with subtitles, or in the dubbed audio version that Netflix have offered as a default. Someone who has their definite opinion about the matter is Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, who weighed in on the subject in a Twitter post.
Like millions of regular viewers, Waititi is a fan of the Asian phenomenon, which is directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, and is a bit like watching Takeshi’s Castle written by Stephen King in The Running Man mode. The series focusses on a group of down on their luck “players” who are all but forced into signing up to take part in a series of simple looking games with the chance of winning a huge cash prize if they win. However, any who fail to follow the game’s instructions or fail to complete the games in a set time, are eliminated from the game – and life. Having made its debut three weeks ago, Squid Game is already in line to become the most watched series ever on the platform.
However, while many choose to watch the series with the default English dubbed soundtrack, Waititi believes that the only way to really enjoy the series is to dump the dub in favor of the original Korean language track. Posting on his Twitter feed, the director made his point that he personally “loves the sound of Korean films.”
“You don’t have to watch Squid Game dubbed in English,” he said, before responding to another user who advocated the English version, “This is a very fair point. You absolutely can! I just PERSONALLY love the sound of Korean films and was surprised when Netflix presented it in English as the first option.”
It seems like this age old debate is not one that going to ever find a unanimous resolution one way or the other, as while many feel that the dubbed audio takes away something from the actor’s performance, the sometimes dubious dialogue captions mean that aspects of the program still get lost in translation, and of course there are some people who just can’t keep up with reading a line of text while trying to take in what is happening on screen. The dubbed audio has been created by a talented group of actors chosen by Netflix to bring as much of an authentic sound to the English dub as possible, including Star Wars: Visions star Greg Chun, Paul Nakauchi and Mortal Kombat‘s Tom Choi.
However audiences choose to enjoy the series, and its potential follow-up, there is a clear sign that if a series presents an intriguing, well put together story, then no matter where it originates, it can be enjoyed by a large audience around the world without it first being remade with a big Hollywood production. The first season of Squid Game is available now on Netflix.