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Forty-two students, three days, one deserted Island: welcome to Battle Royale. A group of ninth-grade students from a Japanese high school have been forced by legislation to compete in a Battle Royale. The students are each given a bag with a randomly selected weapon and a few rations of food and water and sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred (with a few minor rules) game to the death, which means that the students have three days to kill each other until one survives--or they all die. The movie focuses on a few of the students and how they cope. Some decide to play the game like the psychotic Kiriyama or the sexual Mitsuko, while others like the heroes of the movie--Shuya, Noriko, and Kawada--are trying to find a way to get off the Island without violence. However, as the numbers dwell down lower and lower on an hourly basis, is there any way for Shuya and his classmates to survive? Written by
Prissy Panda Princess
Director Kinji Fukasaku celebrated his 70th birthday during the production. He would pass away two years later during the production of the sequel "Battle Royale II" (2003), ending a 40 year career in the director's chair. See more »
Hirono's weapon changes from being a Browning High Power to an Colt .45 Model 1911 (just after she throws Mitsuko's weapon). See more »
This year Zentsuji Middle School number 4's Class E was chosen from among 43,000 Ninth grade classes. This year's game, said to be more blistering than the last - - Oh look there! There she is! The winner's a girl! Surviving a fierce battle that raged two days, seven hours, and 43 minutes - the winner is a girl! Look, she's smiling! Smiling! The girl definitely just smiled!
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Battle Royale is based on the shockwave novel by Koushun Takami, which is a bestseller in Japan, and which has become very controversial in a very short time (and it is really easy to understand why). The plot is relatively simple (a class of junior high school students are forced to kill each other on a desert island, the last survivor wins and can go back home), but it is this simplicity that makes its strength. No need for a very long prologue before we enter the main act. Each of the 42 pupils involved in this "game" are not volunteers (no one would be..,), and of course they are forced to kill their best friends /girlfriends in order to survive this horror. The personalities and characteristics of each of the participants are of course very contrasted and even if there are some cliches, well, the worst has been avoided. There are even quite "realistic" (even if it is very difficult to judge what can be realistic with such a plot) moments. The transcription of the inner thoughts of the characters, which is one of the strengths of the book, is averagely well retranscripted. Takeshi Kitano plays a "teacher" (whose name is ...Kitano), leading the operation of surveilliance of this "game". It is very difficult to give an objective comment on this movie. Violent. Ultra-Violent. And bloody. This is for sure. The book has to be read for a more complete description of the hesitations and fears, but the movie restranscripts very well the book is the sense that it is all "absurd". There is no real meaning to this violence. The students know this, but it can not be avoided. It is quite sad that the movie dropped an essential background element of the book (the story in the book takes place in an imaginery Japan which would have not lost WWII, and the movie takes place in a slightly modified modern Japan), but I guess that making this happen in the "real-world" shows that there is no need to go to an imaginary world to see to what extreme behaviors humans are capable of.
Highly disturbing. Rated R-15 (forbidden to under 15), very, very violent, but nonetheless interesting.
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