In the near future, the country of Japan is in dire trouble. Youth violence and insubordinancy is out of control and the school system is no longer able to handle the students. What possible solution to this crisis would you come up with? Battle Royale has one such solution, read on to find out what.
Setting and story
As I briefly touched upon in the introduction text, this movie takes a group of students (42 to be exact) and places them on an island with a single objective. Kill everyone else within 3 days or everyone will die. In the future, reality shows have gone further and are now using a special law called the “Battle Royale” act.
Each student is equipped with a bag containing a weapon ranging from a spoon, crossbow or a gun, also in the kit is a GPS tracker, a map and a necklace, which will explode and take your head clean off if you are alive after 72 hours.
The island is a varied mix of abandoned buildings, forests and rocky cliffs towards the ocean. Everywhere on the island can be reached by the homeroom teacher of the class, where he presents the days new danger zones, areas of the island where your necklace will explode.
The students are shoved into this situation unaware and unprepared. They are being told they are going on a student trip to somewhere in the mountains and the harsh surprises have only just begun.
The human aspect
How would you react as a 9th grader thrust into an obscene situation where you’re battling for your life against the friends and foes of your class. Suddenly everything has changed and you are forced to make an outrageous decision, do you want to fight for your life and succumb to a merciless killing spree or will you do all you can to save yourself and as many of your friends as possible?
The portrayal of exactly how children react in these extreme situations are nothing more than exceptionally portrayed in this movie. The portrayal of the very human reactions by the characters and the mix of both ultra violence and witty and thoughtful scenes is very very impressive. The movie is both dark and gritty but also uplifting and joyful.
What really hit me was the behaviour and calmness of the homeroom teacher and how he simply treated this incredible turn of events as if nothing special was going on. Morning exercises and calmly listing the new casualties of the brutal game after his breakfast.
A must see
It is such a different movie that has been produced by Kinji Fukasaku and I had heard of the movie so many times before I finally watched it. It is no surprise that this movie is mentioned often and by a big group of people. It leaves such an impression on you and I started to question what I would have done in such a situation. Everyone can easily relate to the very human reactions, motives and failings that are portrayed throughout the movie.
I highly recommend this movie.