Squid Game, Netflix's most recent release, is taking the world by storm. The show features a surprising Indian connection, in the form of Anupam Tripathi.
Squid Game is a dystopian survival game, which is based upon the Japanese Battle Royale format. 456 poor and desperate people are chosen to fight it out for the top prize of ₩45.6 billion. The participants take part in traditional Korean children's games, like Red Light, Green Light, and tug of war. But these games are taken a notch further, with the losers facing death as a punishment.
Squid Game currently occupies the number 1 spot on Netflix in the US, displacing the incredibly popular third season of S*x Education.
The K-drama, which was originally titled "Round SIX", boasts an incredibly talented and versatile cast list. Starring some well-known Korean actors, as well as some relative newbies to the world of K-dramas, Squid Game's ensemble elevates the already tight script, and clever direction.
Veteran actors like Gong Yoo, and Kim Joo Ryung are incredible in their roles, but what fans can't stop raving about are the acting skills of relatively unknown names, like Lee Yoo Mi and Indian actor Anupam Tripathi.
Anupam Tripathi, an Indian playing a Pakistani in Korean drama
Anupam Tripathi, in Squid Game, is redefining nationality and identity. The 32-year-old actor was born in India, but is currently based in South Korea. A Korea National University for Arts graduate, Anupam Tripathi is no stranger to the acting world. He is one of very few actors of non-Korean descent in the Korean TV and film industry, and an even rarer Indian face in the K-drama community.
Despite mostly having supporting roles, the actor has been part of over 10 projects, having been active in the industry since 2014. Tripathi made his first appearance in the film Ode to My Father, in a guest role.
He also had a supporting role in Netflix's 2021 Korean Sci-fi feature, Space Sweepers, which also starred Song Joong Ki. Anupam Tripathi played the assistant to Richard Armitage's James Sullivan.
Anupam Tripathi's meatiest role so far has been in Squid Game. Tripathi plays Abdul Ali, aka No. 199, a 33-year-old Pakistani who finds himself and his family in Korea, with no way to support them. After his employer didn't pay him for months, Ali is forced to take part in this brutal game and try his luck, although failing would mean a certain death.
Fans of the show had nothing but praise for the Indian actor, and his sensitive portrayal of Ali. Several called Ali the best part of this critically acclaimed show. Some viewers have also started petitioning for "justice" for Anupam Tripathi's character.
Although Ali's fate is pretty much certain, fans still hope for better for their favorite character, while they eagerly wait for season 2.