Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Movie Review: "Audition" (1999)

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Movie: "Audition"/"Ôdishon"
Director: Takashi Miike
Year: 1999
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

"Audition" is a notorious Tokyo-Shock style film, along the lines of "Ichi the Killer," but way more tame. The movie opens with a man sitting at the bedside of his dying wife. His wife passes away just as his son walks in the room with a get well card and a gift for his mom. 7 years later, Shigeharu Aoyama has managed to raise a loving son and run a successful business. There is just one problem: he is lonely and wants to find a wife. His movie producer friend suggests they hold an audition to find a wife for Aoyama by using a fake movie script to draw in young women. While going through resumes, he believes he has found the perfect girl: an ex-ballet dancer named Asami. To Aoyama, she is exactly what he is looking for in a wife, but this girl may have a lot more skeletons in her closet than he bargained for.

The film starts off slowly paced and has the feel of an awkward romantic drama. Man meets girl at the audition, calls her for a date, she accepts, they learn about each other, so forth and so on. There are little clues here and there indicating that things aren't quite right with Asami. Aoyama calls Asami for their second date; while on the phone, we see a giant laundry sack in her home writhing around the floor, and at this point, we realize there's something definitely wrong with her. As the couple gets closer, the film starts to shift further and further into insanity. Takashi Miike starts to make the audience feel like they are on a bad acid trip as the film jumps around a time line and has scenes with such vile imagery that it could make one physically nauseous (Lolo included). These scenes and images culminate at a final torture scene, and while it isn't the most violent thing ever put on film, it certainly gave it the old Harvard try.

We don't think we'd recommend it as a "must see" for the casual or even serious takes a special kind of messed up person to enjoy movies like. If it came up that someone was a fan of Gorer or Tokyo-Shock style films, this would be one to watch because it is an elite in its genre.

My Rating: 6/10

BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
Do we recommend the film: Sure, why not?

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