Monday, 7 June 2004

Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)

cover Battle Royale was our latest selection for our Foreign Film Night. It's based on a series of books by Koushun Takami. I enjoyed the movie but the book sounds even better.

It's a simple plot. In the near future, Japan passes a law to control it's unruly youth requiring that a single class is selected each year to kill each other on a remote uninhabited island. The last survivor gets to go home hence the tagline "can you kill your best friend"? The action starts quickly as 42 Year 9 students soon get to grips with their situation.

Yes, it's a very violent movie. Absolutely gruesome. But it's fascinating as every student makes the choice of whether to run, hide or fight. Some commit suicide, some become ruthless hunters while others work as groups to survive. Past relationships become central as each struggles to decide who they can trust. I gather the book explores these decisions much better than the movie is able to. The premise of the movie is far-fetched but it provides a great platform for an action flick which explores the edges of human behaviour. Recommended.

"No matter how far, run for all you're worth"

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