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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
If you're interested in thought-provoking psychological horror movie..., 7 December 2006

In the end of 1999, people in Japan started suddenly criticizing and discussing a very shocking and controversial novel that was written by Koushun Takami. The following year a talented director and producer, Kinji Fukasaku, took the responsibility of making a film that would base on the novel. The film was called Battle Royale (Batoru Rowaiaru in Japanese).

The 2-hour movie has affected many people. There are rabid fans of Battle Royale as well as abominators of this film. Let me explain you how one movie can create so discordant opinion. The film tells about a group of high school students who are sent to an abandoned island to kill each other. Although the idea seems very bizarre, it was developed from common social problems that were also in Japan at the dawn of the millennium. These included unemployment, teenage anxiety, civil unrest, and a nation terrorized by their youth. Young people are much more volatile nowadays than they were a few decades ago and that is what Battle Royale focuses on.

As the movie was supposed to carry on an important message, it had to be made more interesting than the novel was. The screenplay was written by Kenta Fukasaku who made some noticeable changes in the storyline. The movie begins with the government passing the act of BR – Battle Royale. It is a survival program, where the worst class of the country is selected to participate in a game. The rules state that the participants will be sent to a deserted island where they will have 3 days to kill each other. There can be only 1 survivor. If there is more than one student alive after 72 hours, everyone would die.

The role of the class teacher, named Kitano, is played by Takeshi Kitano. At the beginning of the movie he is stabbed by one of his students, after what he resigns from school. A year later he is already leading the BR program and his former class is forced participate in the slaughtering. Kitano played his heavy role as best as he could. Throughout the whole movie he was very strict and serious. Even in the scenes where Kitano shows out his fondness for his student Noriko, who resembles to his daughter that doesn't love him, we cannot see any change of emotions. Other leading roles were performed by Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) as Chigusa, Taro Yamamoto as Kawada, Aki Maeda as Noriko and Tatsuya Fujiwara as Shuya. It is remarkable that all the roles of 43 students were given to young actors aged about 16. It makes the movie more realistic and shocking when to see real children covered in blood and kill each other than 25-year-old actors who just have an appearance of 9th formers.

After being kidnapped on a class trip, the students are taken to Kitano. Everyone receive a necklace that must be worn. It is for monitoring the location of the contestants and in case the battle is not over in 3 days, they will be blown up together with the participants' necks. After that every children gets some kind of special thing, most of what are pistols, knives, crossbows. There were also unlucky students who got only a headband or something like that. After that, the battle begun. Death of every student was bloody and seemed very lifelike. Even though there were not used many special effects, they seemed superfluous in some parts. The background music was perfect in my mind. It helped to change the mood quickly and the exciting scenes would be quite dull without these sounds.

As to the acting, it was poor with some actors. But it is excusable considering their young age. Besides, the plot is so thrilling that there is not enough time to pay attention to acting skills, technical part or other smaller details. The scenery was genuine. Even the minor details on the island led to the conclusion that it was abandoned. The costumes fitted well to the storyline and weapons worked the same way as they do in real life. A small negative aspect is that the movie is in Japanese, which makes the beingness of subtitles important. In the film, there were some mistakes between scenes where the position of a dead body mysteriously changed and words sounded from people whose mouths were shut.

All the violence in Battle Royale led the movie firstly to be rated R and than even banned in some countries. In fact, despite the popularity of Takami's novel and the film that based on it, the movie was shown only in 23 countries. For example in the USA the government doesn't control movie industry but, there was not any studio that would like to be related to Battle Royale. The second reason why the film has not become so popular is that it was shot in Japanese and the actors were of that nation as well. People tend to prefer pointless English-speaking movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the leading role to much better foreign films that have a brilliant idea. The fear of uprising youngsters is also a reason why the movie is hated by some viewers. Battle Royale is not meant to trivialise school shootings and youth violence. In fact, it is an examination of how far will the government go in disciplining the youth. Many people are against the film because they consider the idea silly.

Battle Royale is different, even radical. It cannot change the world because films challenging social norms have no place in our society. The movie was a great success and it has at least changed the views of some people, who should move on to modifying the world. Despite public opinion, films that matter, are still being made.

"We may not be responsible for all the things that happen to us, but we are responsible for the ways we react when they do happen." (unknown)

16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A good Friday night entertainer, 1 January 2006

Friday Night Smackdown - it's a wrestling TV-show that is shown every week on TV. It is not some kind of boring field of sport where everything is made up. It's the other way round - wrestlers have incredible matches and there are huge rivalries between them. You can see unbelievable fights, wrestlers being sued, famous people visiting the show and much more. When even Mike Tyson, Arnold Scwarznegger and Ben Stiffler have visited it, why shouldn't You like it. The number of different match types is huge, that makes the show last for ever, e.g. "You can't see me" match (1 wrestler is blindfolded, the other one is not), "Chairs and Tables" (these are used as weapons), different types of cage matches, "Ambulance match", "Buried Alive Match", and many matches with women, e.g. "Bra & Panties Match", "Evening Gown Match", and much more. When you see it, you can't quit it.

5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A good movie to draw a picture about the war in Afghanistan, 1 January 2006

I really liked that movie. Nothing was made acceptable to nowadays people - there was blood, killing and violence. It talks about young men, just graduated, who went voluntarily to war. They were awfully beaten and tortured during their 3-month training, and it paid off. The group, that the movie talks about, sticked always together - even during the last, the suicide mission. Their life is described in a very detailed way, nothing is left out. You can perfectly see the carelessness of more "important" people and at the same time love towards one's friends, thievery for surviving, using children for manipulating with enemies and much more. I really recommend this movie.