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Battle Royale

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search?tag=dominicchan-20&keyword=B00005Y7L4&mode=blended

Image from Amazon
Battle Royale Directors Cut

Type: Drama Thriller, Japan 1998
Director:Kinji Fukasaku
My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Tatsuya Fujiwara .... Shuya Nanahara

In future Japan, the younger generation has lost faith of the government and they constantly challenge authorities and resort to violence. The government passed a directive allowing the military to select one secondary class per year to participate in an exercise called "Battle Royale", in which the teenage pupils are brought to a isolated island controlled by the army. They are forced to wear a necklace with explosive and are equipped with various weapons, from spring arrow, knief, pistol and machine gun and are forced to kill each other. In 3 days' time, there can be only one survivor, or the necklace will blow their heads off. The teenagers are fighting for their own lives. To make it more interesting, they have put two pupils that do not belong to this class.

My review:
This is a highly controversial movie, indeed, it talks about a very sensitive topic. The idea on teenagers killing teenagers for their own survival is too much for most people. The movie is full of vivid and graphical violent scenes. Once the movie has established the plot, the director tried to portray behaviours of the two extremes, namely good and evil. There were some who played by the game and try to eliminate others, there were others who refused to give in to the game and strive to survive by other means without killing each other. I particularly like the light-house scene where the group of girls who initially were determined to stand by each other and sworn they would never harm one another. They took shelter at the light house. But the balance totally swinged the other way as soon as one of them was poisoned to death by accident. The results? They all killed each other and the girl who planted the poison in the first place intended to kill the boy that they rescured. She jumped off the light house and killed herself out of guilt. Peace was never long lasting, it was hanging on a thin thread, small disturbance to the system sent them to the path of no-return. Whether the director is trying to convey something deep and meaningful, or whether he is just taking the pleasure out of making a controversial movie, you can be the judge of that. But in terms of the pace, atmosphere, cinematography and casting, this is a fine movie. If you cannot accept the idea of people killing each other for their own survival (which by the way is exactly what people do when they are at war and I am all against it), then this is probably not a movie for you.

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