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|Leading Role:||Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Masanobu Ando, Kou Shibasaki|
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Battle Royale is the last film Kinji Fukasaku completed in his lifetime. (His son finished Battle Royale II) It is set in an alternate Japan, but like 1984 or Brave New World, it can also be interpreted as a vision of what society might become if we are not careful. He filmed it when he was seventy, supposedly to warn the young people not to trust the older generation.
The film was a very personal project for Fukasaku because he decided to do it based on his experience as a fifteen-year old student during WWII, when his class was chosen to help at a munitions factory. The factory was bombed and the students had to hide under the dead bodies of thier classmates to survive. When a restricted rating was put on the film because of the intense, graphic violence depicted in it, Fukasaku objected because of his personal experience as a fifteen-year old.
The film itself is indeed intensely violent, and not for the squeamish, but it isn't gratuitously violent, every death that occurs in it has a specific message in this fable.
I think it is also worth mentioning that Takeshi Kitano gives an amazing performance. He is kind of evil, but there are moments when we have sympathy for him and see him as lonely and sad. Tatsuya Fujiwara (Light from Death Note) is also in it, playing the nice guy trying to protect his girl, and looking all overwhelmed and cute. And extremely young.
I feel that although this film might be overlooked now, because it is in Japanese, or regulated to "cult classic" status, in 100 years, when people look back at the great films from our times, they will think of this movie. But don't wait 'till then. Watch it now.
wonderful movie. seen it on Netflix by chance and wow from title and thumbnail/box art would have no idea what the movie is about. I just had to have this on bluray recommend this to any Japanese movie fan that doesn't mind subtitles. Beat (Kitano) Takeshi does a great job as the guy in charge of this operation. I've seen several of his movies i.e. Outrage and Beyond Outrage and he is a great actor and director.
I loved this movie so much that I bought a copy for a friend for her birthday. If you want to see the original "Hunger Games", I recommend buying this film!