Friday, 20 July 2012

The Retrospective: Battle Royale.

Battle Royale poster.

Battle Royale

Batoru Rowaiaru (Original Title)
Director: Kinji Fukusaku
Release Date: 14th September 2001
Certificate: 18
Starring: Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, TarĂ´ Yamamoto and Chiaki Kuriyama.
The first thing to clear up is that Battle Royale is NOT a Japanese Hunger Games. It’s not even close to it. They aren’t tributes in a dystopian world to fight against the other districts. You don’t get random packages sent down from sponsors with medicines or anything else you require. The main thing that doesn’t make this a Japanese Hunger Games is the fact it was released in 2000 and based on a book published in 1996 which is years before Suzanne Collins’s books. This is a class of people who have been friends for years who are chosen to be sacrificed to fight against each other for the amusement of others. In this, your weapon isn’t what you choose to risk to get it’s what you’re given and they aren’t all winners as you find out. The Battle Royale programme is used to keep control of children in times of serious austerity and a dystopian vision of Japan. Though it is satirical, people find the ultra-violence and comedy-horror-gore mishmash to be hard to stomach and to get past. It feels as though people focus on these more than the message that is supposed to be portrayed but isn’t that always the way?