Battle Royale

December 21, 2008
“Battle Royale” is the Japanese view on the true meaning of civilization and savagery. Based on the novel of the same name by Koushoun Takami, its storyline and themes make it a modern Japanese Lord of the Flies. Though the acting can become over-the-top and the situations can become quite cheesy, it is overall a very powerful statement on human nature.
The story follows a class of forty-two ninth graders who are forced to murder each other on a deserted island. The last survivor is allowed to go home. The government under the Battle Royale Act runs the experiment in an effort to discipline rebellious students. Some students find hope, faith, and love in themselves and refuse to murder their peers, while others go on unmerciful rampages.
The film is violent and bloody, but with necessity. The filmmakers desperately try to show us the hypocrisy of the civilized world, and how truly barbaric our administrations can be in efforts to destroy our human instincts. We avert our eyes in horror, but then we realize that these students are only children, and they have been forced to act like ‘civilized' adults.
Though these students are quickly introduced to a world of brutality they never knew before, they retain many of their childish instincts. They act on love and innocent crushes, showing us how innocence and childishness are so much more peaceful than brutal civilization and growing up.

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