Silent as the Grave: The Non Speaking Villain (7th Case Study)
Kazuo Kiriyama - Battle Royale (film).
Kazuo is very fleshed out in the original novel, complete with a background as to why he can so easily adapt to the killing mindset that the game seeks to induce in its players. He is calm and given a small amount of dialog. The cinematic Kazuo is a total mystery. The only things that are clear is that he loves murder and he’s VERY good at it. Since the instructor character who watches over the game is given such a heavy backstory, it would appear that Kazuo’s new-found silence makes him far more symbolic in nature. Is he the drive to kill? Is he a mixture of the cruelty of youth mixed with a murderous streak? Is he the final result fully submitting to the rules of Battle Royale? Who can say? He can’t be a pure angel of death: his murders are detached and without metaphysical guidance. The only possible guiding factor to his character we might imagine is that he is the male equivalent of Mitsuko. However, she is of the sub-society that makes up the class. Kazuo is an outsider. We are not given a sympathetic backstory like we are with Mitsuko. Even if her story is a revenge tragedy, we have no reason to believe that Kazuo is seeking vengeance. To Kazuo, no one need know anything about him. He has parsed down the game to what it is, a murder spree. That is the only real motivation that we are given: Kazuo enjoys killing. In this sense, he becomes more horrifying because of his silence. Some serial killers will explain there actions, and we so desperately try to understand everything about them. Kazuo cannot be easily diagnosed because he chooses to never speak. This brings about a chilling thought: the idea that someone as dangerous as Kazuo lurks among us without feeling any desire to share.