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 sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred game to the death, until one survives -- or they all die. Some decide to play the game like the psychotic Kiriyama or the sexual Mitsuko, while others are trying to find a way to get off the Island without violence. However, as the numbers dwindle is there any way for Shuya and his classmates to survive?Written by
Prissy Panda Princess
The movie was shot in different locations all over Japan. The one location that was actually a small island was Hachijô-Kojima, an uninhabited island in the Izu chain hundreds of miles south of Tôkyô - it is used in many scenes where the students are seen by the seashore, as well as the shot of the island at the end. See more »
At the beginning of the movie, the class acts shocked to see Kitano greet them at the island. He says he is taking over the class. However at the end of the movie, you see a class photo with Kitano as their teacher.
If it's not apparent in all versions, Kitano was not respected by the students and left the class in 7th grade. While some students may suspect what his return means, others fall back to disrespect and challenge him.
Note that the class photo (with Kitano) is also shown in the beginning of the film, but the "extra students" are only inserted in the last usage. 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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As the credits roll, a class picture is displayed, showing all of the students that have been killed in the Battle Royale, including the two transfer students. See more »
The Special Version includes the following:
Redone opening titles
Redone sound effects
Added CGI blood to make the shootouts more graphic Also, many shots were added, deleted, reedited, and extended for pacing and clarity purposes, including the following:
A longer basketball sequence
Added reaction shots of the kids in the classroom to Kitano's "Do you know this law" question, and after Kuninobu's death.
A flashback shot of Mizuho and Inada and Kaori Minami to remind us of who they were when we see their bodies.
Closer shots of Takiguchi and Hatagami's corpses
An additional shot of Nanahara weeping at the top of the lighthouse
Additional shots of postcards from Mimura's uncle
Kitano shutting down power to the computers and ordering the soldiers to reboot after the Third Man attack
A scene with Mitsuko as a 9-year-old coming home to find a pedophile in her house.
An additional shot of Mimura triggering the explosives on the truck
Requiems that show the real flashbacks, and we hear the dialog during Noriko's dream.
Based on a Japanese novel by Koushun Takami, "Battle Royale" is the story of a group of ninth graders who are transported to a small isolated island with a map, food and different arms. They are told to fight each other for three consecutive days until there remains but one student, who will then be named the 'winner'. All students are forced to wear a metal collar with a radar so that their teacher is aware when a rule is being broken.
The film is set in Japan and is in Japanese (and if you do come across a dubbed version, dispose of it immediately because it's only worth it to watch the original). It's hard to classify this film, as despite the extreme violence in it, it isn't action and despite its nightmarish feel, it isn't horror. It's just in between. There are many themes to this story; from to trust to complete selfishness (killing your best friend to save your own life) to suicide to disloyalty, and the list goes on.
The actors in Battle Royale were amazing. It is rare to find young talents like these, for instance, in Hollywood. These actors were by far the best young actors I have seen in all my life (though most of them weren't as young as their characters were). Tatsuya Fujiwara plays the main character, Shuya, a young man who is struck by tragedy when he becomes an orphan. All he has now is his best friend and the girl with whom he is madly in love. Fujiwara did a great job of transmitting the feel of despair that one would probably feel if he/she were to see his best friend die before their eyes, or to have to see classmates killing each other and then to portray that never-ending trust that two lovers share. The other actors all did a generally good job as well.
The first actor I'd like to criticize is Taro Yamamoto, who played the compassionate Shougo Kawada, who helps the protagonist and his girlfriend as the game of Battle Royale goes on. I thought that Yamamoto overplayed the character's casualty and I didn't feel as attached to him watching the movie as I did reading the comic book. The other actor I thought did a terrible job relative to the other actors was Masanobu Ando, who played the haunting character Kazuo Kiriyama, who basically seemed immune to everything. While reading the book, that guy really creeped the sh*t out of me. But in the movie, he just basically did the "undercover" thing and sort of leaped from place to place and tortured and killed people and that was it. You didn't feel anything, and in my opinion, that character was one of the most important so it was pretty disappointing. But putting those two aside, the acting WAS splendid, just as the directing of (sci-fi/Japanese gangster movie director) Kinji Fukasaku was.
I thought that the story was very haunting and compelling, and that you should read the novel or the comic book before watching the movie because just the use of your imagination and attachment to the characters while reading the books is so much more real. I really enjoyed the movie too, though, and would recommend it to anyone who has the stomach for constant shootings, hangings, blowing-up, abandoned corpses and a lot of blood squirting everywhere.
And so if it fits the shoe, rent it out. You probably won't regret it.
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