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Home > Battle Royale (2000): A Review

Battle Royale (2000): A Review

The Battle Begins

The New Law of Revising the Society 

Battle Royale was directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film was released in Japan in 2000 and distributed to 22 countries globally. In the movie, societies in Japan have been negatively affected by economic recession and unemployment in the future. To decrease juvenile delinquency, the Japanese government passed a new law, “BR ACT,” which sent a random class of delinquent students to an island for the game of Battle Royale to fight with each other until one survivor remains. The main character, Shuya Nanahara, and his classmates have been chosen. They have been secretly sent to an island and start the execution of the “BR ACT.”

Film Review 

The movie’s plots are consistent as the story expands with students fighting with each other. Since the film consists of a story that involves 42 characters, director Fukasaku incorporates individual characteristics and personalities by introducing each student at the beginning of the battle royale while tossing their school bags to them. Although the movie involves multiple characters, it explicitly presents each student’s behavior, personality, and thoughts by embedding multiple story plots. In the film, the audience is not only following the protagonist’s storyline but also other characters. Not only that, but the film also points out the number of students who are still alive and the students’ names who are murdered for the audience to understand the current situation and progress with the battle royale. Throughout the film, the tempo of the story is fast, but it still captures the details to build up the individual’s characters. Director Fukasaku utilizes the story plot to emphasize Shuya’s struggle between staying alive and refusing to hurt anyone. The pacing of the film is well-established through the demonstration of the personal stories of each student before they entered the game. This technique not only controls the film’s pace but also establishes each character’s background story and the rationale behind each action.

Characters and Performances

Director Fukasaku embeds the details of the characters’ stories by adding various flashbacks in the movie. Hence, timing is crucial for this film to explain the characters’ behaviors with flashbacks while not interrupting the main story. In the movie, when the character is involved with other characters, the audience can see the disparate differences in each character’s personality and belief. Then, as the audience is confused with the character’s certain behaviors, director Fukasaku embeds flashbacks of the character to explain the story plot. Hence, the actors’ performances are believable and logical based on the background stories of each character. Throughout the movie, since the audience just gets to know about the characters’ names at the beginning of the game, the viewers don’t have any information regarding each character’s characteristics and personality. Hence, the performances of each character are prominent to be believable and make their corresponding behaviors logical to the audience since they have just learned about the characters. 

The Cinematography of Presenting the Game 

The cinematography of the film is effective in presenting the characters’ emotions and characteristics. When a character starts telling his background story, the control of the light and shadow emphasizes his emotion of sadness, and the beam of light depicts that he is immersed in his memory, and it becomes his only hope. Throughout the film, director Fukasaku constantly utilizes close-up shots to emphasize the characters’ reactions and facial expressions. The director also utilizes extreme close-up shots to highlight the brutal and scary moments to make them “jump scare” the audience.

Final Rating of Battle Royale 

Overall, Battle Royale is an outstanding action and thriller movie. Although the setting of the game in this movie is simple, which is letting 42 teenagers murder each other until one survivor remains, director Fukasaku digs into each character’s background story, which builds up the story plot. Even more, with the involvement with the personality setup, curiosity from the audience of how the character is going to behave or react in this game also becomes one of the major components of making it a breathtaking action movie. 

Battle Royale is available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video, and to stream for free on Plex or Tubi. 

Battle Royale 2000 Official Toei Company Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Dead Talk News Writer