Day 18: Audition (1999)
By Sam Reeve
Sorry this post is coming so late today. First wordpress wasn’t letting me post or edit things, and now the servers are down and being wacky when I can post it. BOOO. anyhow…
Audition, brought to us by the legendary Takashi Miike, is what’s on the dinner plate for this evening. It’s based on a novel of the same name by Ryu Murakami and stars Eihi Shiina (starred in Tokyo Gore Police).
As the title would suggest, there’s an audition. Ryo’s wife died many years before and his son has been urging him to remarry. Ryo’s producer friend decides to set up a fake audition for a film so that he can meet a bunch of women and learn about them. Only one girl catches his eye: Asami, a quiet and bizarre woman.
They go on dates and things seem very odd but ok from Ryo’s point of view, but we know very well that she’s a bit of a messed up girl.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: It’s pretty fucked up, so there’s that. I was expecting this movie to be much more brutal both psychologically and in terms of gore, so I was underwhelmed in a way. I read about it prior to watching and multiple sites reported that when it was first shown at festivals, people walked out or fainted because it was so extreme.
Don’t be fooled. If you watch a lot of horror movies this may not shock you. I loved it, so don’t get me wrong, but just don’t pay attention to the hype.
It was a beautiful movie and well acted. The last scenes with Asami torturing Ryo were a bit hard to watch, but mostly because of the joy she showed while doing it. I really think the characters were the saving grace for this movie (for those like me who just weren’t frightened by it). They were interesting, there was just enough back story (more in Asami’s case), and some were very fucked up in the interesting sense.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK: The “it was all a dream” thing is used heavily near the end of the movie, which annoyed me. That’s my only real complaint about Audition, and I’m sure it would bother me less during a second viewing.
Below I’ve posted the full movie with English subtitles. If you’ve seen Audition already or end up watching it, let us know what you think in a comment below!