(Post) Medias Res | So, I Just Watched Battle Royale…

Battle RoyaleEarlier this summer, I read Takami’s Battle Royale, and promised myself that I would watch the movie once it was done.

(I also learned that there is also a manga version of the book, but I don’t really have the patience to read it.)

Needless to say the movie kind of sucked.

I get why it would be one of Tarantino’s favourite movies—blood, guts, gore—the whole gruesome package is there in one two-hour flick.

But the movie basically rips out the only thing that the novel had going for it.

As commenter Carelton mentioned on my IMR for Battle Royale the movie has no soul. It’s a lot of graphic violence with very little emotion. Backstories and motivations (if any were even given or explained adequately to count as such) were poorly done. I had to keep reminding myself of what was going on in the novel to understand what was going on in the movie.

And as most movie adaptations, a lot was cut out, spliced together, or added in; and it didn’t necessarily make sense at times. Like, Noriko had a father/daughter relationship with Sakamochi? Please.

The awkward emphasis on all the romantic relationships in the movie was just as out of place as they were in the book, so no change there. But this time, instead of the majority of the students assuming the character of a stick, all of the characters do. I had no sympathy for Shuya, or Shogo, or Shinji.

There was no talk of revolution. No talk about motivations, or psychology, or people’s emotions besides “liking” someone else (i.e. Shuya, because, hey! He’s the protagonist!)

Scratch that. There do mention why they conduct Battle Royale.

Is it the same bullshit reason in the book? Not in your life.

It’s even more stupid than sort-of-secret-public-terrorism. In the movie, the Program is run each year as a warning to children to listen to and obey their elders.

What kind of crap is that?

It seems like everyone forgot–including the director–that kids grow up to be adults. Kids don’t stay kids forever.

Though it is pretty childish to bully the generation that will be funding your pension by killing a few hundred of them each year via each other.

Because we all know that bullying results in a perfect relationship of dominance and obedience. That no one would think, “Hey, this is wrong. We should do something about it.” Because generating thoughts like that totally wouldn’t spur on rebellion.

Give me a break.

This movie was an excuse to make a violent romp, tossing the theme out the window because, hey, who needs thoughts when you have violence? Who needs plot when there’s an axe in that kid’s head?

Who even cares?

I do. Because it was just plain disappointing.


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