[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* ISHIGURO Yusuke
* SAKA Misako
* MAEDA Shigeji
[ Cast ]
* FUKUSHI Sota TAKAHATA Shun
* YAMAZAKI Hirona AKIMOTO Ichika
* KAMIKI Ryunosuke AMAYA Takeru
[ Staff ]
* Planning Producer: USUI Hisashi
* Screenplay: YAZU Hiroyuki
* Original Story: KANESHIRO Muneyuki
* Original Story: FUJIMURA Akeji
ENDO Koji Music
[ Production Company ]
TOHO, DENTSU, KODANSHA, East Japan Marketing & Communications, OLM, NIPPON SHUPPAN HANBAI, GyaO!
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: November 15, 2014
Running Time: 117 min
Screening Format: DCP
[ Story ]
Survival drama adapted for film by director Miike Takashi based on the same-named comic about a life-or-death game set at a school. The first Japanese director to win the Maverick Director Award in competition at the 2014 Rome Film Festival.
A Daruma doll suddenly appears at the school that Takahata Shun (Fukushi Sota) attends. It marks the beginning of “death classes” imitating schoolyard games like “Darumasan ga koronda” and “Kagome kagome.” The games keep on coming, without revealing the purpose or the person behind them.
[ Official Site ]
[ Premiere ]
World Premiere: 2014 Rome Film Festival
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
2014 Rome Film Festival, Maverick Director Award
The apocalypse originates from a lament: “I have a boring life”. The gods get annoyed and start a slaughter house, in the true sense of the word.
Who complains is Shun, a high school student who is catapulted, along with other boys, in a world where to stay alive, you must play and win in a series of entertainment for children horror version. At the beginning there’s a daruma doll to which the veins of the eyes swell with anger before the heads of the unfortunate competitors explode (the game is Daruma ga koronda, a sort of “One, two, three, star” in destructive version), then a huge maneki neko, “nice” cat but eats mice / humans because they do not play with him as he would like (and especially because they do not scratch his back), then, again, some ruthless kokeshi, dolls taken from the Japanese tradition that here form a small group of insensitive torturers.
Once the “path” has begun, it will not be possible to go back, and all that is left is to continue the game. In this Battle Royale in which it does not seem expected that there will remain one.
As the gods will, taken from a manga titled by Kaneshiro Muneyuki and illustrated by Fujimura Akeji, is a visionary and involving work in which Miike Takashi mixes cruel fun and philosophical ideas. The gigantic maneki neko with the shrill voice that crushes and devours little mice-men reminds us, one for all, that even the seemingly most good and reliable icons can hide destructive ends.
Among explosions of heads and carpets of bloody corpses is reflected on the human nature and its hidden caverns of darkness, and also on the interference, in the life of the shaky human beings, by a powerful god, but incomprehensible in intent. Or we ask questions about the devastating consequences of the evolution of video games. It is reflected, yes, but there is also a lot of fun, letting yourself be conquered by a hyperbolic and visionary direction.
The work is rich and overwhelming. Miike also offers us a duo of main characters in opposition, the good Shun and the Luciferino Takeru, who are struggling the second with obvious greater satisfaction in a world of violent deities who refer to rules unknown and meaningless.
I found it a great film, a return or at least a backward glance to the atmosphere of Miike’s films some time ago.
Very appropriate and contemporary in my opinion. It is the reference to boredom to start the generational massacre: “boredom” perhaps as absence, loss of values, which in turn determines, in the void that is produced, the seizure of power other values. Just as the overwhelming media invasiveness of the protagonists plays a familiar role.
Shun, realizing the ineluctability of the process that began, almost immediately retorts his statements, “I would like my boredom again.” But the god-director will not listen to him, giving his spectators two hours of delirious fun.