For the people who don’t know this random knowledge about me, my high school years were spent at an all-girls Catholic school. I endured four years of back-stabbing, name calling, petty bickering and tons of “I’m about to choke a bitch!” moments. These experiences are the reasons why I can personally relate to Battle Royale.
Set in the future, the government starts an act where a random 9th grade class is selected every year and put on a deserted island. The students are forced to kill each other off until there is only one survivor.
Battle Royale can easily be compared to Lord of the Flies, only it’s not a full-blown sausage party, the kids have a wide range of weapons and a 3 day deadline to kill or be killed.
Here are a few things that I love about this film:
The kids are put in a situation where they have no choice but to kill in order to survive. I would be too stressed out on the trying to survive part that I wouldn’t be able to process the whole “Hmm, I think I might have to kill a person or 12 to get out of this alive.” There are moments where these kids forget that they are in a game and let their personal issues lead them to murdering friends and foes. It isn’t all “I’m sorry I have to kill you because I want to go home.” It’s all about the “So, I never liked you in school and I think you’re a whore so I’m going to straight up kill you!” Again, it takes me back to high school.
Next, the gooey goodness of violence is wonderful. This film does not shy away from brutal kills and sprinkler-esque blood squirts. The kids were not dainty in their murders. The ones that caught on early to the game killed with a fierce drive leaving nothing but bloody remains.
And finally, one of my most favorite things about this film is…the death count! At the beginning of the film we start off with 42 students. Too many to remember their names or even care about them but as each one dies off, the counter pops up showing us who died (just in case you cared) and how many students are left in the game. It was nice to know day-by-day how many students were left and counting down as each one was killed off. I will admit, not only did it make me smile every time it was on screen, but I was also grateful for be informed.
Battle Royale has it’s flaws with certain plot confusions and unanswered questions, but the acting is fantastic, social commentary is thought-provoking and overall this film is damn entertaining.