Resolutions 2016: Battle Royale

battle royale 2.5

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope your week has been a splendid one. Apologies for failing at getting my post out yesterday, buuuuut I have another fantastic guest post for my Resolutions series today! The lovely Miss Kim of the equally lovely Tranquil Dreams kindly decided to drop in and talk about her film resolution! I’d heard of this one, but I hadn’t heard much. So is it a good one? Let’s find out!

Blogging has been a journey that has expanded my knowledge and the list of movies that I need to watch.  Its completely endless and even in my effort to watch and review more with my new series, there are always movies that just sit in my to-watch list and because its been there so long, I just nudge it off more and more.  For this Resolutions, I decided to go with a movie that is constantly compared with The Hunger Games which came out earlier in 2000 and is a foreign film called Battle Royale. I don’t watch a lot of Japanese movies in general but I’ve read how good this movie is over and over again that this was the perfect opportunity.

Battle Royale (2000)

battle royale poster

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaka Kuriyama, Takashi Tsukamoto, etc

“In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act.”-IMDB

After seeing Battle Royale, I needed a moment to catch my breath.  I can see why Battle Royale is actually many levels much better than Hunger Games, not to mention that it is incredibly similar to it.  You can’t help but think that it is slightly an American ripoff version of it.  Battle Royale is an act in a world that Japan has basically collapsed into a world full of high unemployment rates.  In this battle, its a class of students and two random “transfer students” and it totals up to 40+ students.  You have to watch all those deaths and what is actually pretty amazing is the fact that the movie proportionately progresses with the 3 days allotted time.  There was one moment in the beginning that seriously traumatized me and I had to get up and take a walk to calm my nerves a little. I did manage to come back and get through the rest of the movie.  They add a little dark humor into it but it really focuses on the different psyches of the students involved and how they react to desperate situations and fear.  It makes them very much more human and actually at 9th grade, its normal for them to react in the ways they did.

battle royale 3

Battle Royale is done really well because it gives you a few students that mean more than the other 30 that have stories to tell. They allow us to connect with a few of them and really want them to win or lose, depending on who it is.  It also gives us a good idea of who to be careful for.  Since these students all know each other already, it brings in a whole theme of love, friendship and survival.  If human nature and the desire to come out alive and go home and being back to normal wasn’t enough, they also add the adults controlling this event who pretty much can decide when a student is going against the rules to terminate them.  It keeps me sitting at the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Especially when, in certain scenarios, I knew what was going to happen and the character naively didn’t.

Its hard to not compare Battle Royale to The Hunger Games and yet in many ways, there isn’t even a comparison as Battle Royale really sets up a brutal situation right from the get go. It presents us with an array of characters that reflect their age and who they are and the growth throughout the movie.  It has more control and even the games themselves have a set structure that gives the students a chance and a time limit and really not even a choice to not eventually having to fight to be the last one standing. How can that not be an intense situation, right?

battle royale 1

Overall, Battle Royale is a must-see.  Its gripping and brutal.  It takes dystopian movies into a whole new level, maybe not by the downfall of the economy, but the setting of the deadly game set forth by the act that seeks to kill.  I have to admit that its been a while that a movie has been able to take me by surprise and Battle Royale did it thoroughly.

With that said, a huge THANKS to Cara for setting up Resolutions.  I really love that I’ve caught up with Battle Royale and kind of hate myself for putting it off for so long.

And thank YOU, Miss Kim! So glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much! It sounds like an excellent one to check out! I’ll keep it in mind. Expect a few more film resolutions next week before we close this series out, folks! But until then, have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Resolutions 2016: Battle Royale

  1. Great review, Kim. I’ve loved this one for years and years. Unlike Hunger Games, you get a sense of how scary this scenario is. You see the emotional toll on the teens. Plus you get some nutso action scenes. Thanks for sharing this cult classic with the interwebs. The sequel is worth watching too.

  2. One of my all time favourite films. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    To get the full flavour of what it is about you might want to also read the original novel by Koushun Takami which explains the social and political commentary behind the BR game and the feelings of the students. 🙂

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