Boganmeldelse

Book vs. Movie: Battle Royale

Battle Royale

I read Battle Royal about a year ago, as I thought it might be fun to compare it to The Hunger Games series, which many claimed was a rip-off of Battle Royale. I ended up preferring BR to HG, but never considered HG a rip-off. The two were just too different – and it’s not like it’s a unique concept. I thought the writing in BR was superior, and the depiction of paranoia and horror was, IMO, much better that in HG.
The concept is basically this: a group of young teenagers are forced to kill each other – there can only be one winner, i.e. the one who survives.
Naturally, I was curious about the Battle Royale movie. I enjoyed watching it, but was also very much disappointed. One thing I loved about the book was the psychological insight. In HG, two kids are chosen from each district, meaning that they don’t know their opponents. In BR, a school class is chosen, meaning that the kids have known each other almost all their lives. That created a very interesting aspect. Can you trust your best friend? What about that time in the 2nd grade when she didn’t stick up for you? Can you trust your boyfriend/girlfriend? And what about that bitch who always made fun of you in gym? Or the silent boy you used to ignore? Can you form allies or are they all your enemies? That aspect was brilliantly depicted in the book, but not so much in the movie. It was more focused on the action and fight scenes.
Another thing I loved about the book was that we got to know all the characters. They weren’t just “evil components” as each got a chapter on their own where we got to hear their story and how they felt about the other kids in the class. Of course, there wasn’t time for that in the movie. We got certain hints about their personality and role, but we didn’t get to know them and pity/fear them.
The final disappointment was that we didn’t get to hear Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run at the end. In the book, that song was a huge part of the book – I could almost hear it while reading! And it was amazing and just perfect at the end of the book. I was so looking forward to actually seeing that scene and hearing that song instead of just imagining it. And then they just skipped it. That’s unforgivable.
All in all, both the movie and the book are very entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. But the book made me think. The movie didn’t.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen: Let’s hear Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run>>`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run”<<

Jeg læste Battle Royal for omkring et år siden, da jeg tænkte det kunne være sjovt at sammenligne den med The Hunger Games-serien, som mange påstod var et rip-off af Battle Royale. Jeg endte med at foretrække BR frem for HG, men har aldrig set HG som et rip-off. De to bøger er bare alt for forskellige – og det er jo ikke fordi konceptet er unikt. Jeg synes sproget i BR var meget bedre, og skildringen af paranoia og rædsel var, efter min mening, meget bedre end i HG.
Konceptet er dybest set dette: en gruppe af unge teenagere er tvunget til at slå hinanden ihjel – der kan kun være én vinder, nemlig den, der overlever.
Naturligvis var jeg nysgerrig efter at se Battle Royale-filmen. Og jeg var underholdt hele vejen igennem, men var også meget skuffet. En ting jeg elskede i bogen var den psykologiske indsigt. I HG vælges der to børn fra hvert distrikt, hvilket betyder, at de ikke kender deres modstandere. I BR er en skoleklasse blevet valgt, hvilket betyder, at børnene har kendt hinanden næsten hele deres liv. Det skabte et meget interessant aspekt. Kan du stole på din bedste ven? Hvad med den gang i 2. klasse, da hun svigtede dig? Kan du stole på din kæreste? Og hvad med den bitch, der altid har gjort grin med dig til gymnastik? Eller den tavse dreng du ignorerede? Kan du danne alliancer eller er de alle dine fjender? Dette aspekt var glimrende skildret i bogen, men ikke så meget i filmen. Den var mere fokuseret på action og kampscener.
En anden ting jeg rigtig godt kunne lide ved bogen var, at vi lærte alle personerne at kende. De var ikke bare “onde modstandere”, men fik hver deres eget kapitel, hvor vi fik deres historie fortalt, og hvordan de havde det med de andre børn i klassen. Selvfølgelig var der ikke tid til det i en film. Vi fik nogle hints om deres personlighed og rolle i klassen, men vi lærte dem aldrig rigtigt at kende.
Den endelige skuffelse var, at vi ikke fik lov til at høre Bruce Springsteens Born to Run i slutningen. I bogen spillede den sang en stor rolle – jeg kunne næsten høre det, mens jeg læste! Og den var fantastisk og fuldstændig perfekt i slutningen af bogen. Jeg så frem til at rent faktisk se den scene og høre den sang i stedet for bare at forestille mig det. Og så var den slet ikke med. Det er utilgivelig.
Alt i alt var både filmen og bogen ret underholdende og vil holde dig på kanten af sædet hele vejen igennem. Men bogen fik mig til at tænke. Det gjorde filmen ikke.
Og nu, mine damer og herrer: Lad os høre Bruce Springsteens Born to Run – >>`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run<<
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