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
Although the film played sporadically in the US festival circuit after its release, most American audiences became familiar with it through bootleg or "region-free" international copies. In 2011, American home video distributor Anchor Bay managed to come to a licensing agreement with Toei, and the film began streaming on the American video rental service Netflix. Later that year, Battle Royale had its first general North American theatrical run at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, CA, on December 24, 11 years after its Japanese theatrical release. On March 20, 2012, Anchor Bay gave the film and its sequel, Battle Royale II (2003), their first official DVD/Blu-ray release in the US. See more »
Given that the events in the beginning of the film shows the winning student from previous year with rather intense media coverage, the students in the competition depicted in the film should have been aware of the existence of the competition and what was at stake before it was explained to them. 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 German version was supposed to be released uncut with a SPIO/JK approval (that basically states that the film doesn't violate the law (§131, glorification of violence)), a FSK rating was out of the question due to the excessive violence. But due to various circumstances at the time (political climate, the 2002 shooting at a school in Erfurt), the approval was denied. To release the film at all, German distributor Kinowelt had to cut the film. This cut version still only had the SPIO/JK approval and no FSK rating. Among the cut scenes were the following:
Kitano killing Fujiyoshi with his knife
Kitano killing Nobu by activating the collar
All notes telling the viewer who was killed and how many survivors were left were deleted
Mitsuko killing Megumi with a sickle
Much of Kitanos comments, such as "It's tough when friends die on you, but hang in there!"
Kiriyama killing the two girls with the MP was shortened
View of Kitano's picture was shortened
Nanahara saying "She took the knife that Nobu use to stab Kitano from the desk." In 2004 the film was re-released by Marketing Film, this time it was uncut.
There have been contrasting cries of "greatest film ever made" and "pointless gore fest" made about BR, and neither are accurate in my opinion. What it is, is a commentary about "perceived" (real or otherwise) problems among Japanese teens in the late 90's.
In one review, someone basically likened it to a movie involving young Japanese girls running around in school uniforms acting violent....DUH, thats the whole point. A lot of peoples only knowledge of Japan is Manga and Hentai.
If people bothered to watch the news once in awhile, they may know that the establishment in Japan were VERY worried about young people getting out of control, and BR portrays all this perfectly.
Its NOT ultra violent, although the fact that they are supposed to be teens makes it disturbing. Battle Royale is no worse than Lord of the flies, but for some reason that has been deified as a work of art, and BR is classed as trash. I'd say its more about cultural snobbery than actual appreciation of a truly magnificent film.
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