Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Kenta Fukasaku/Koushun Takami
Based on the Novel by: Koushun Takami
Producers: Kenta Fukasaku/Kimio Kataoka/Chie Kobayashi/Toshio Nabeshima
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara/Aki Maeda/Takeshi Kitano
BBFC Certification: 18
Duration: 114 minutes
At the dawn of the new millennium, Japan is in a a state of near-collapse. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and violence among the nation’s youth is spiraling out of control. With schoolchildren boycotting their classes and physically abusing their teachers, a beleaguered and near-defeated government decides to introduce a radical new measure: the Battle Royale Act Overseen by their former teacher Kitano and requiring that a randomly chosen school class is taken to a deserted island and forced to fight each other to the death, the Act dictates that only one pupil is allowed to survive the punishment. He or she will return, not as the victor, but as the ultimate proof of the lengths to which the government is prepared to go to curb the tide of juvenile disobedience.
Cult classic thriller Battle Royale is based on a book by Koushun Takami of the same name and both the book and the movie has caused controversy. It’s well-known for it’s gory violence and on lists and surveys, remains to be one of the top 20 horror-thriller movies of the decade. So is Battle Royale really this good? The answer to that question is yes, it really is. The story is simple yet brilliant and it keeps you hooked for the duration of the movie. The characters were brilliantly written and the actors who starred in the movie did an amazing job playing their parts. Tatsuya Fujiwara did a brilliant job playing as Shuya and Aki Maeda was great as Noriko, the rest of the cast gave out a solid performance as well. The direction and the writing were all brilliant and the script was done very well. A movie like this was bound to cause controversy but the movie was brilliantly done. The cast and crew should be proud of this!
I saw the movie before reading the book and again after and the book is better than the movie, which was to be expected. However, the movie does capture what it is supposed to capture. The acting was brilliant as they captured the emotions of their characters perfectly and you could feel their emotions: Fright, panic, stress, love, hate, delight, etc, and that’s what I love in a movie because it makes you feel connected. The violence and blood shed in the movie is very high and yet it didn’t really feel unnecessary for the movie. The book was violent so I expected as much from the movie. The book makes you feel more attached to the characters than the movie does but you still feel attached to them in the movie as well. Overall, I would seriously recommend this to anybody who loves a good thriller and don’t mind subtitles or violence but if you do mind subtitles and you don’t like gory violence, give this a miss. I really recommend you watch this subbed though, dubbed usually isn’t very good in a foreign movie.
One of my favourite movies and one of my favourite books, Battle Royale is cool, gripping, original and violent.
Reviewed by Dazz Camponi