BATTLE ROYALE - - DVD Review

Topic started by No_name_here on March 2, 2012. Last post by sickVisionz 1 year, 7 months ago.
Post by avidwriter (5 posts) See mini bio Level 6

@tryptophan: I thought the first person was done very well and I can't see The Hunger Games done in third. Also in any book, it's almost a given that the main character is going to survive. First or third, in the The Hunger Games you knew she'd live I mean that's what happens most of the time. Even if she did die, you could still do that first person. I mean, who kills their main character off in the middle of the book?

Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@avidwriter said:

@tryptophan: I thought the first person was done very well and I can't see The Hunger Games done in third. Also in any book, it's almost a given that the main character is going to survive. First or third, in the The Hunger Games you knew she'd live I mean that's what happens most of the time. Even if she did die, you could still do that first person. I mean, who kills their main character off in the middle of the book?

I'm going to restate what I said previously.

The problem with the first-person narration in Hunger Games, aside from the fact that you know that Katniss is going to survive, is that she has a very dry personality. There are points when the world and events are being described wonderfully, but then others where there isn't really enough detail to go on. I honestly felt like her home district is roughly the size of a town in a Japanese RPG from the mid-1990s.

The other main problem is that for all the attention given to Katniss, not enough is given to the other competitors. With only a few exceptions, they're little more than blank slates. They're present only to become a death statistic. They have no personality; their names aren't even given. Yes, this is Katniss's story, but seeing as this is coming from her perspective, I'd expect her to at least say enough about each of the others to give me a clear picture of who's who, where they're from, and any other basic, general information that she could glean from, if nothing else, observing them during the training session.

The Hunger Games could very easily be done in third person and still focus on Katniss. I would find it preferable if that were the case, because then the story could be described in a voice more apt for this sort of detail than Katniss is able to provide. And even though she does survive, and as the main character, has a very high probability of survival to begin with, the first-person perspective does remove a lot of the tension from the story by making it apparent that she will not die.

Post by king9999 (2 posts) See mini bio Level 3

I don't view BR as a comedy at all. I'm guessing the writer of this article never read the novel or the manga (both of which are better, by the way). Also, I don't think the intent was to scare the viewers into thinking that something like the BR Program was going to happen in the future. That's not the message of BR at all. There are underlying messages that the movie--being a 2-hour movie--probably doesn't convey very well, if at all. I would advise the writer to read the novel so he can get a clearer picture.

Post by jazgalaxy (3 posts) See mini bio Level 3

@tryptophan said:

@Hailinel said:

@avidwriter: The setting of Battle Royale is an alternate modern day in which World War II ended differently, leaving the world's political landscape in a vastly different shape and Japan a police state. By comparison, Hunger Games is pure fantasy. Also, I prefer Battle Royale for the fact that it actually gave character to most if not all of the students in the class, whereas the competitors in the games were for the most part not even named, nor were they described with any particular detail. Katniss is also a very flat, dull character and a poor choice to use for first-person narration.

Main Point:

Not to mention that first person narration is the most disappointing choice of perspective, when your main character is fighting to the death, for the whole story!

Pointless Anecdote:

I work at a bookstore, and about a year ago I heard several customers and employees gushing about The Hunger Games. I kept hearing them come back to how "grim" the story is. I am contemplating writing young adult fiction on the edge of what is "safe" for that audience so, for research purposes, I knew to read the story. So what the hell is the author thinking by placing the main character in the safest haven a writer can put their character? That's not "grim" at all! You can eviscerate, decapitate, and demolecularize your main character, then drag those remaining molecules through the vacuum of space to the surface of the sun, and the reader can rely on the fact that their favorite little hero/ine will not perish. I thought that was just stupid, and bad story choice.

The Point:

But--I am a nobody writer, and Collins chose first person, and is out there doing successfully!

I don't agree with your opinion of the hunger games use of first person present tense. I think it's awkward and a terrible choice, but I don't think it in any way feels more "protective" of the character than any other tense. In fact, since the character isn't narrating from the safety of the future, it's entirely MORE plusable that the character might die.

Personally I thought the "grimmness" of the story was mostly ridiculous and pandering. It frequently featured gore-for-gore's-sake that didn't feel realistic largely due to the fact taht the characters never handled any of it realistically.

Post by sickVisionz (4,289 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

It's a grave dig but meh, whatever.

I agree with Tom on this. I saw this a few months back, prior to seeing Hunger Games, and it's a pretty goofy movie. Comparing to Hunger Games, I think this would have been significantly better had they altered it and totally gotten rid of half the kids. I think the Hunger Games works a lot better because the cast is small so you can devote significantly more screen time to the characters. On top of that, I think they just executed on it better.

In the span of 5 minutes, you might get a character introduction, flashback to their previous life, breakdown into psycho on the island, then their death. I couldn't buy into any of them in that short a period of time with such rushed and often time non-existent development. Without that, the film is reduced to shock value because there's no buy-in to the characters. Even if you wanted to, the insane cast count means you're immediately off to the next kid to have their 5 minutes then death, then the next, and the next, etc.

As a manga or an anime or even a TV show, I think this would be a lot better. Entire episodes could be devoted to a character's prior life and characters could grow over the course of a season to where when they die, there's more emotional impact than when it's someone who was only on screen for 5 minutes.

... and none of that is to say that this was a masterfully acted and directed film that suffered merely from having too much content to cover. The acting is all over the place, generally topping out at only acceptable.

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