Released in 2000, Battle Royale has received a litany of press regarding its approach towards sensitive matters such as violence, abuse and sexual exploitation in the 17 years proceeding it. With countries outright banning it from public consumption, it definitely seems as though there is no such thing as bad media coverage.
I’ll be honest, although I’d heard of it once or twice, it had never been a film myself and friends had spent hours discussing whether or not to watch. What foolish people we were.
For some reason, the prospect of watching a movie that features subtitles seems to many to be a stretch to far when it comes to having an enjoyable experience. However after recently watching movies such as The Handmaiden, Train to Busan and Battle Royale, it baffles me why people would sincerely neglect a market brimming with such a high caliber of talent.
Battle Royale is famously quoted as being one of Quentin Tarantino’s all time favourite movies, and its clear to see why. The emphasis on the Teenagers involved is disturbing, devastating and worryingly delightful at any and all given moments. From the minute they are plunged in to this horrific form social cleansing, we invest in the main character Nakamoto and his journey to survive this nightmare scenario. What ensues is a systematic breakdown in the social unity between friends and lovers in the all too familiar desire to survive this incredible mission.
If after reading this you find yourself interested in watching Battle Royale, and believe me, you should, don’t be so naive to think that this reminds you of the Hunger Games franchise. Don’t forget that Suzanne Collins’ novels were not released until 8 years AFTER Battle Royale was released in cinemas. This holds its own with indemnity and intrigue. Each interaction between characters is considered and correct. No one person meets without a sense of purpose behind it. Even characters we meet for literally 5 minutes are given enough time that you genuinely care about what is happenings that moment.
Battle Royale is without doubt a film I Should’ve Watched Sooner, instantly finding its way into my top 100 films of all time. All I can say is that I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear me talk about it in some form or another.