Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru)
Film: Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writer: Kenta Fukasaku
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto
In this film we begin with being told this takes place in the future. The youth in Japan has become bad to the point where the government has created an act called Battle Royale, where they take a random class of students, send them to a deserted island, give them weapons and force them to kill each other in a set amount of time, or everyone dies.
The beginning shows the end of one of the competitions. The winner is a girl, she has braces and we know she is fairly young. She’s covered in blood and she looks at the camera and smiles a creepy smile.
We get a narrative from the main character, played by Tatsuya Fujiwara. We learn his mother is gone and his father killed himself on the first day of school of his 7th grade year. Next it goes to a train with a class of students. It enters a tunnel and everyone soon is asleep. A student wakes up to find that everyone is passed out and a woman wearing a gas mask knocks him out.
They all wake up again in a classroom, where their old teacher enters with soldiers. Each of them has a collar on and we learn they’ve been chosen. The collars prevent their escape by blowing up and they’re given the rules of the game. They have to survive for 3 days, but the catch is; only one can survive. They’re given a bag with a random weapon in it and sent off to kill each other. Who will win?
What makes this film great is the sheer absurdity, yet no one seems to think it is. During the training video, the girl is so cheery it almost seems normal for them to kill each other. The other thing that makes this great? The high school drama we all went through drives them to kill each other. We have couples who commit suicide together. The bullied get revenge. The lonely one with a terrible secret finally has a forum to kill. The sheer wildness of it all makes perfect sense.
The only downfall to the film is some of the deaths are horribly bad acted. Some of them are purely amazing and well done, but no one has any accuracy with a gun, even a machine gun that has unlimited ammo it seems. The other problem I had was random titles. I’m not sure if they were thoughts or what, but they appear out of nowhere and don’t make a lot of sense, but those two are really the only downfall I saw.
I would highly recommend this if you’re a fan of Japanese horror films. It is in subtitles, but if you can get past that it is great. If society fell enough, this could be the future, highly likely, but creates the crazy idea of what if the youth becomes to the point where this is need? If this sounds good, I would watch it.
My Rating: 7 out of 10