Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama, Sosuke Takaoka
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence it's only fitting that Kenta Fukasaku's Battle Royale is being touted as A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Ko... more »
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Life imitating Art
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 05/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit that this movie moved me on many levels. After getting over the initial shock of what is, for very good reason, considered to be not just a violent film but also a very disturbing one in terms of subject - this movie I am convinced is destined to become a cult classic. As mentioned previously, Battle Royale is an unforgiving movie but like all great films there are pockets of resistance and liberation. This exceedingly disturbing and deeply saddening film about watching young kids killing each other out of a primal need to survive should disturb anyone with a shred of humanity left in them. What should be noted is that in this case of art imitating life it opens up a portal of consideration of how people may react in this type of situation and the inherent complexity contained therein. No matter what critics say about its violence Battle Royale is really a story about character. Based on the novel by Takami Koshun, Battle Royale is provocative on many. One way to see the movie is in terms of a not so distant future Japan (which is this case can stand in as a metaphor to other countries) where the government's trepidation about rampant juvenile delinquency and the a lost generation's blatant disregard for order and the rule of law has caused it seek more immediate and less creative ways to deal with the problem, the solution: the systematic annihilation of teenagers. In this case, selected groups of high school kids are deceived and carted of to an undisclosed location, given weapons and supplies and a mission - to kill each other. In an orgy of blood and gore the last person standing is allowed to go home. This, at least for me, brings up two very difficult questions: Is it a story about extermination or discipline? If it is, what possible benefit can be derived from this?Returning quickly to the issue of "character," it is interesting to see how director Kinji Fukasaku and writer Kenta Fukasuka bring Takami Koshun's novel to the screen. It is also interesting to see how director Fukasaku controls a herd of cats in a powerhouse cast of 40+ characters that includes Beat Takeshi's rendition of Kitano as well as the portrayal of Shuya (Tatsuya Fujiwara), Noriko (Aki Maeda), Shougo (Taro Yamamoto), Kazou (Masanobu Ando), Mitsuko (Kou Shibasaki) and Takako (by Kill Bill's Chiaki Kuriyama). I was intrigued to seeing how some of the characters reacted to stressful situations that in some places (unless you watch the film at least twice) are lost around the films central motif of extreme ruthlessness and violence.Needless to say that despite the films wicked cinematography and primitivistic tendencies - it being set in a tropical island and all - not to mention the almost mandatory erotic undertones, it is more than anything, a movie about a society on the verge of imploding. It is noted that Fukasaku's motivations for making the movie transcend politics and society. Dilemma: if your survival rested on you killing your best friends, would you do it? This is the circumstance in Battle Royale and it is a very provocative one. This brutal premise and what happens next is inevitably - a very cruel film. Fukasaku rendition has a Lord of the Fliesesque quality about it. I cannot stress how great a movie this is though. Overall, this is one of the most thought provoking, disturbing, and powerful films released. I was not surprised that this film has not been released in the US but just like the saga of "RINGU" - my guess is that inevitably this film will be hijacked as well - it is the Hollywood way. Another "layer" to be uncovered from this blood-soaked saga is how Fukasaku calls to question a Japanese society whose rage over youth delinquency (as mentioned previously) and has gone so far to imagine a `final solution.' If it was Fukasaku's intent, it got me thinking that if such a solution were put in place the results would be a fight to the death will be a traumatized, angry and extremely mentally agile mind would be released back on society - making the problem doubly worse - as if the society is cultivating violence. In Battle Royale Fukasaku is thought provoking again in that he allows for pockets of resistance and moments of female empowerment. The sub-plot of hacking in to the system and destroying the whole game and the scenes with Mitsuko (Kou Shibasaki) although not unique add a particular liberating quality to the film. However there still is lingering the disturbing theme of Battle Royale, dealing as it does with the corollary of a system of violence transferred from generation to generation thus perpetuating a cycle of violence. In the end, the hub of the Battle Royale films is that violence without doubt impacts children. Is this what we want as a future for them? A wild, sexy, and thought provoking film that begs to be watched more than one time to be fully appreciated.Miguel Llora"
Battle royale the movie is excelent
Steve Payne | 08/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie has alot of qualities that i liked from the start. the way the students tried to find a way around the game, the social interactions of the students, and the question of could you kill your best friend. the movie goes smoothly from the start, with everyone on the bus, and then comes to on the island. i even have a soft spot for kitano, the cookie eating teacher. the cast did a superb job giving the book characters life and keeping to the plot. and the fact that it didnt save characters that you get to like made it sad, yet, gave the sense that the students really were trying to survive. the one thing i like to point out is the way the students' clicks fell apart after one or two days. some worked better as a team, while others got ripped apart at the seams."
Joeseph Barborak | Michigan, Michigan, Michigan. | 10/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very good movie. I strongly reccomend this movie to anyone who enjoys strange movies, because you've never ever seen a movie like this.
It's the future... Kids have stopped going to class, and are becoming pests. So the government has started a new program called the "BATTLE ROYALE SURVIVAL PROJECT." What happens is that one class of 9th graders a year is chosen by impartial lottery to go onto a deserted island. The kids then get 'voted off' the island. And by 'voted off' I mean they kill each other. Each kid gets a bag, inside is food, water, a map, and a random weapon. With this weapon, they are ordered to kill each other until one remains.
This movie has everything. Violence, plot, character development (somewhat -- enough to satasfy me), and an amazing story. It'll keep you on the end of your seat, or couch, or whatever.Oh, and if you go out and see the new Tarantino movie, KILL BILL, the actress that plays Liu's bodyguard is one of the kids from Battle Royale.
Buy this movie. I can't stress it enough."
Great Movie, but Wilmington, NC is soo wrong...
kedo7 | CA | 08/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must clarify what this movie is about, Wilmington, NC's review is completely misleading.A shocking tale set in Japan. The government has labeled the next generation (students) the reason to degredation in society. They have greated a BR (Battle Royale) program that places one school class on a deserted island.Class 3B was chosen (9th graders, highschoolers). Awaking on the island they find metal colars on their necks and their teacher explains that they have been chosen for this year's Battle Royale...The Rules: They are given weapons and are forced to kill each other. Only the last one surviving will be able to go home.
Why comply to these rules? If there isnt a winner in 3 days, the colars on the students necks will explode, and no one goes home.Some students form alliances, others will allow nothing to keep them from the win...The producer meant the movie to be for kids the age of those used in the film (highschool) and older, however to his dissapointment the movie was rated R..."