Saturday nights with my friend's are a blast! We laugh, drink, watch roasts and catch up on what is new in our lives. One Saturday night, we ended up watching Battle Royale, a movie my friend Jerome was recommending we watch it for a while now. It's SICK! Background story: Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. The movie is cult classic available in on Netflix (subtitle heaven). It is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world.
With the emergence of "The Hunger Games" phenomenon of the last few years, the inevitable comparisons between that franchise and "Battle Royale" have been plentiful. Yes, the two do share strong thematic and narrative similarities, but each has a distinctly unique vibe and explores the back story behind the violence in a different way.
A few examples:
- The reason for having the annual death game
- The way the game is conducted
- Who is behind it and what their motive is
- The strategies and outcome are all dissimilar
Trailer for Battle Royale
Battle Royale should be evaluated on its own merits. The novel was written years before the Hunger Games novel was written. The tone of the story is gritty, there are no TV shows or outfits to show off. The story does a good job of making you feel for every character, question authority, question allegiances. The Hunger Games is about a girl who questions authority by accident, she becomes a symbol for a starving society. Battle Royal gives every character a chance to tell their story where as the Hunger games tells one character's story.
Rent Battle Royale on Netflix to see for yourself! Halloween is coming up, if you need a thrill, you won't be disappointed.