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还没看过《鱿鱼游戏》?你并没有错过太多

Haven’t Watched ‘Squid Game’? Here’s What You’re Not Missing.
还没看过《鱿鱼游戏》?你并没有错过太多

This notebook contains spoilers.

本文有剧透。


If you know that you’re supposed to have watched Netflix’s South Korean puzzle box “Squid Game” by now, but you’ve been lucky or prudent enough not to, here’s some of what you’re missing.

如果你觉得你本应看过网飞(Netflix)的韩国悬疑剧集《鱿鱼游戏》(Squid Game),但因为足够幸运或足够谨慎还没看的话,下面是一些你错过的东西。

There’s the eye-catching — though not especially interesting — production design and costuming, glimpses of which you may have caught on social media. Escher-like stairways and over-scaled, toy-chest décor, along with the monochromatic jumpsuits and forbidding masks, recall dystopian favorites like “The Prisoner,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Netflix’s own “Money Heist.” Their meme-readiness has clearly been a factor in the startling omnipresence of the series since its Sept. 17 premiere.

片中有引人注目(尽管不是特别有意思)的制作设计和服装,其中一些你可能已在社交媒体上看到过。埃舍尔式的楼梯、超大的玩具箱布局,以及单色运动服和令人生畏的面具,让人想起热门的反乌托邦片,比如《囚徒》(The Prisoner)、《使女的故事》(The Handmaid’s Tale),以及网飞自己的《纸钞屋》(Money Heist)。自9月17日首播以来,这些具有成为米姆潜质的设计显然是该剧火得一塌糊涂的因素之一。
 

郑好娟在韩国网飞热门电视剧《鱿鱼游戏》中的一场戏。我们的剧评人称这部剧中的暴力是“空洞、血腥的卡路里”。

(A second season has not been announced, but betting against it would be as unwise as trusting one of the show’s desperate schemers in a game of marbles.)

(虽然还没有宣布是否拍第二季,但赌定不拍实在太不明智,就像相信剧中玩弹珠游戏的一个走投无路的阴谋者。)

There’s also the element of game play, which appears to have been the primary attraction for the teenagers in my own household. The story’s hapless protagonists, sequestered on a remote island, are forced to play elaborately staged and deadly versions of childhood games, some familiar to Western viewers (tug of war, red light-green light) and some, like the squid game of the title, specific to Korea. Alliances form and shift; players reveal their true makeups; losers are immediately gunned down. The six games, spaced across nine episodes, invoke both reality-TV competitions — “Survivor” with guns — and the more purely kinetic pleasures of televised sports and e-sports.

还有玩游戏的元素,这似乎是吸引我孩子的主要因素。剧中,不幸的主角们被困在一个偏僻的岛上,被迫玩经过精心策划、夺人性命的小孩游戏,其中有些是西方观众熟悉的(拔河、红灯绿灯小白灯[即剧中的木头人游戏——编注]),有些是韩国特有的,比如片名中的鱿鱼游戏。联盟的形成和变化;玩家揭示自己的真实本质;失败者会被立即枪毙。在九集中展开的六场游戏,既让人想起电视真人秀的比赛——带枪的《幸存者》(Survivor),也给人以观看直播的体育比赛和电子竞技那种更纯粹的运动引起的乐趣。

But what is “Squid Game” about? When you look past the ornament and the action, one thing you see is an utterly traditional, and thoroughly predictable, band-of-brothers and -sisters melodrama. The central group of game players is straight out of the Hollywood war-movie playbook: the strong and silent leader, the moody outsider, the violent thug, the kindly old guy and the gentle naïf who serves as audience surrogate.

但《鱿鱼游戏》是关于什么的呢?看穿了打扮和行为后,你会发现,这是一个完全传统的、完全可以预测的江湖兄弟(姐妹)情节剧。主要的那群游戏玩家直接出自好莱坞战争电影的剧本:强大寡言的领导者,脾气不好的外来者,暴力的犯罪者,善良的老者,以及作为观众代身的温柔的天真者。

They’re the dirty half-dozen or so, and their progress through the story contains no surprises. They die in exactly the order you would expect, based on their importance to the mechanics of the plot.

他们是半打左右的金刚(这句话典出上世纪60年代的好莱坞战争片《十二金刚》——编注),他们的故事在剧中的展开没有任何出人意料之处。他们什么时候死,你完全可以根据他们在故事情节中的重要性来预测。

That kind of predictability is practically a motif in “Squid Game,” so much so that it feels intentional. The identity of the masked games master known as the Front Man is obvious across much of the season, although it’s supposed to be a mystery. The decision to have one particularly sympathetic character’s death take place off screen, unusual in a show that emphasizes numbingly graphic killing, is an easy sign that the person will reappear. A wrinkle in the structure of the marbles game — a plot device that helps make the sixth episode egregiously, shamefully manipulative, and has also made it an audience and critical favorite — can be seen coming from a kilometer away.

这种可预测性几乎是《鱿鱼游戏》的主题,预测之准让人觉得该剧故意如此。那个被称为负责人(Front Man)的蒙面游戏主的身份在整个系列的大部分时间里都很明显,尽管那本该是个谜。让一个特别令人同情的角色之死发生在屏幕之外,对这部强调令人麻木的杀戮情景的电视剧来说不太寻常,却是暗示此人会再次出现的简单信号。弹珠游戏安排中一个小曲折——帮助第六集可耻、恶劣地操纵观众,并使其成为观众和评论家最爱剧情的情节设计——从一公里外就看得出来。

Striking visuals, the visceral pull of the games, the appeal of the science fiction and mystery elements and the reassuring familiarity of the hoary storytelling formulas all contribute, I’m sure, to the popularity of “Squid Game.” (Given Netflix’s reluctance to share numbers, its actual viewership is a bigger mystery than anything in the show.) But what probably puts it over the top is the aspect of the series that most makes me dislike it: its pretense of contemporary social relevance, a thin veneer of pertinence meant to justify the unrelenting carnage that is the show’s most conspicuous feature.

我敢肯定,惊人的视觉效果、游戏的内在张力、科幻和神秘元素的吸引力,以及老式叙事公式令人放心的熟悉感,都是《鱿鱼游戏》大受欢迎的原因。(鉴于网飞不愿透露具体数字,它的实际收视率比剧中的内容还要神秘。)但可能最重要的,恰是让我最不喜欢它的方面:它假装与当代社会有关,披着一层薄薄的关联外衣,只是为了给这部剧最显著的特征——无情杀戮做辩护。

The game players — an unemployed autoworker, a North Korean refugee, a fraudulent investor — are all debtors, brought down by circumstance and weakness and sufficiently desperate to take part in the kill-or-be-killed scenarios devised by the games’ unseen but presumably autocratic creators. (The potential payoff, accumulating in a glass sphere as contestants are eliminated, is in the tens of millions of dollars.) The setup is a commentary on the rigid class stratification of South Korea, and a pretty obvious allegory: Losers in the rigged game of the Korean economy, the players have a chance to win in the (supposedly) more merit-based, egalitarian arena of the squid game, but at the risk of almost certain death.

游戏玩家——一个失业的汽车工人、一个朝鲜难民、一个欺诈的投资者——都是债务人,被环境和弱点打败,极度绝望地参与了游戏幕后主创们设计的杀人或被杀的场景。这些主创是看不见的,但想必非常专制。(当选手被淘汰时,潜在的报酬在一个玻璃球里不断累积,价值高达数千万美元。)这一设置是对韩国僵化的阶级分层的评注,也是一个明显的寓言:在韩国经济的操纵游戏中,玩家们都成了失败者,他们有机会在鱿鱼游戏这个(据说)更加以实力为基础的平等主义舞台上获胜,但要冒着几乎必死的风险。

But there’s a difference between making reference to something and actually illuminating it, or using it as the basis of authentically human drama. “Squid Game” has nothing to say about inequality and free will beyond pat truisms, and its characters are shallow assemblages of family and battlefield clichés, set loose upon a patently ridiculous premise. (The cast members, led by the South Korean stars Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo, work valiantly and with some success to give the players actual shadings of emotion.) Its goal, a common one at the moment, is to ingratiate itself with its audience by confirming their accepted ideas. Like another recent South Korean hit, Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” the show does that with room to spare.

但是,提到某些东西与真正地阐明它,或将它作为真正人类戏剧的基础,这两者之间还是有区别的。《鱿鱼游戏》对不平等和自由意志的探讨只有简单的老生常谈,它的角色是家庭和战场陈词滥调的肤浅组合,在一个明显荒谬的前提下释放出来。(由韩国影星李政宰和朴海秀领衔的演员们大胆地表演,在一定程度上成功地给剧中的玩家们赋予了真实的情感色彩。)它的目标也是目前很常见的目标,就是通过确认受众公认的观点来讨好他们。就像奉俊昊最近的热门韩国电影、奥斯卡获奖影片《寄生虫》一样,该剧在这方面做得也是游刃有余。

And what that also accomplishes, of course, is to provide cover for the violence, which is more than mildly sickening in its scale, its graphic presentation and its calculated gratuitousness. Well before the hero, Gi-hun (Lee), was playing the titular game in the final episode with a steak knife sticking through his hand, I’d had enough. Apologists can argue that the combination of businesslike dispatch and cartoonish exaggeration in the killing has aesthetic and thematic resonance, but nothing onscreen supports that take. There is little dread and even less emotion, just the logistical satisfaction of the body count.

当然,这也为暴力提供了掩护。其规模、画面表现力和精心设计的无端之举,都不是一般的令人作呕。到了最后一集,主人公奇勋(李政宰饰)玩与该剧同名的鱿鱼游戏,用一把牛排刀刺穿手掌,这令我忍无可忍。辩护者可能会说,杀戮中商业式的迅速处理和卡通式的夸张结合在一起,具有美学和主题上的共鸣,但屏幕上没有任何东西支持这种说法。几乎没有恐惧,更没有感情,只有对死亡人数设定的满足。

The director and writer of “Squid Game,” Hwang Dong-hyuk, is a feature filmmaker (“The Fortress,” “Silenced”) making his TV series debut. He and his camera people keep the story legible and the images routinely well composed, and he stages the action with dull competence. But he doesn’t have a distinctive style, which is particularly noticeable because the series is clearly a throwback to a slightly earlier generation of South Korean movies by directors like Park Chan-wook and Kim Ki-duk, whose stylistic panache and mordant wit allowed them to make outré violence feel like an organic element in their stories. In “Squid Game,” it’s just empty, bloody calories.

《鱿鱼游戏》的导演兼编剧黄东赫是一位电影导演,作品包括《南汉山城》和《熔炉》,这是他首次拍摄电视剧。他和摄影师让故事保持清晰,画面构图良好,以靠谱但平淡的能力安排动作戏。但他没有独特的风格,这一点特别明显,因为该剧显然是对朴赞郁、金基德等导演拍摄的稍早一代韩国电影的回溯,他们在风格上的潇洒和诙谐使得片中离谱的暴力让人感觉是故事中的有机元素。在《鱿鱼游戏》里,暴力只是空洞、血腥的卡路里。
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