Review: Battle Royale


Photo: Battle Royale

Website Editor Natalie Turco-Williams reviews Battle Royale as part of Curzon’s Mavericks and Vanguards collection.

Think Hunger Games meets the world of manga in this high school horror. Enter Battle Royale, or otherwise known as the BR Act, where adults randomly select a class of students each year and send them to a deserted island to fight till the death until only one student is left.

But don’t think this is anything like your average Dystopian teen film because this flick is all about the gore. Each death ends with blood, screaming and some Game of Thrones style beheadings. Originally adapted from the controversial book by Japanese author Koushun Takami, this film really goes for the slasher style horror and manga style plot line.
What really sets it apart from its obvious rival, The Hunger Games, is its gore, character development and crazy weapon choices. Before the Royale begins each student picks a random bag with a weapon in it, this could be anything from a pot lid to a taser gun to a samurai sword, making the deaths even more crazy. Between the killings, director Kinji Fukasaku masterfully balanced death scenes with engaging back stories, something the Hunger Games failed to really do.
Most of the 42 students get some sort of story, but the plot focuses on Shuya Nanahara played by Tatsuya Fujiwara and Noriko Nakagawa played by Aki Maeda. For those big Japanese film fans out there you may recognise Fujiwara from the live action remakes of the iconic Death Note anime series where he played Light. Nanahara and Nakagawa’s romance is quite sweet and brings a real heart to the film, giving it more substance than your everyday slasher.
Now considered a cult thriller, the film is a classic among World Cinema fans and it’s easy to see why, with its brilliant action scenes and gripping Dystopian plot. Whether you’re a slasher fanatic or an anime lover (or both), this film is definitely worth a watch, as its manga style story takes horror to another level.

Battle Royale is being featured in Curzon Home Cinema’s Mavericks and Vanguards collection. As part of the limited edition series, Curzon are offering 1000 x 25% off voucher codes for students. If you fancy taking a break from revision and watching Battle Royale or another great film, simply sign up to the site for free and use this code CRZKENT25 to get 25% off one film rental before 29 May 2023


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