This film mixes a wide variety of high school characters, and shoves them into a life or death situation. Any action by any of the kids is understandable, and none of them come off as 'villains' (apart from maybe Kiriyama). Friendships are made, friendships are lost, people are betrayed and also have their necks blown up. Takeshi Kitano gives a subtle but unforgettable performance as the class teacher in charge of the operation. The end scene is incredibly emotional, due to the wonderful performances and the films brilliant use of classical music. Based on a controversial novel, the film is faithful in most respects but makes some changes to provide more focus on specific groups of characters without taking away emotion from the rest. The use of Bach's 'Air on a G String' during a stand off is one of those classic cinema moments where the footage and the music contradict each other but work together harmoniously. It's a film with many beautiful moments, as well as full on action and violence. It carries a number of messages with it, and younger viewers may be able to relate to this film more than older.