The Hunger Royale

Update 11/24/2013: While the original premise was undeniably lifted from Battle Royale, the Hunger Games Trilogy was able to come up with something really special on its own. It went beyond the seemingly senseless killings into something more meaningful and ultimately better in every way than the Japanese original.

A group of ninth-grade students have been forced by legislation to compete in a Battle Royale. The “contestants” (victims?) are chosen randomly by lottery and are shipped off to the island with nothing more than a bag, and in that bag is a random “weapon”and a few rations of food and water.  They are sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred (with a few minor rules) game to the death, which means that the students have three days to kill each other until one survives--or they all die. 

No, this isn't the plot of the much talked about movie that is showing in cinemas right now. This is the plot of the book/movie Battle Royale. Of course, this could easily be the plot of Hunger Games: 

Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. The 24 participants are forced to fight to the death until one survives, with all citizens required to watch.

Akiko Fujita of ABC News wrote: “The similarities are difficult to ignore. Both evolve around children who are picked at random to take part in a death match. Participants are given duffel bags containing random weapons. The tyrannical government ships them off to a remote location, where they are told to kill and fight for survival.”

But while the similarities are obvious, Suzanne Collins who authored The Hunger Games said on several occasion that she had never read nor even heard of Battle Royale when she was writing her book; Collins claims that the first she heard of Battle Royale was after she submitted the manuscript of the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy. 

Anyway, will be doing a marathon of both films today not necessarily to compare but... wait who am I kidding, of course to compare. Also, this may be a good time as any to plug that a live version called Battalia Royale (which was staged in the CCP and Cubao a few weeks ago) will be re-staged come September. For those that want a more realistic and interactive version of the two films mentioned above, watch out for this.

The cast of Battalia Royale (left) shown here with the cast of Ateneo Blue Rep's Bare

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