Friday, 11 December 2009

Audition (Ôdishon) 1999

In any country other then Japan Audition would be a Rom-Com. A Japanese businessman, after being widowed for 9 years, is persuaded by his loving son that he should remarry. This leads to an endless stream of clubs and dating sites…well actually no. This leads to Shigiharu and his movie director friend Yasuhisa to create an opportunity for them both. Yasuhisa will cast his new movie and luckily the applicants will be just the kind of woman that Shigiharu is looking for. Shigiharu falls madly in love with one resume and is further smitten at the Audition. His friend is not convinced and advises to hold back. He does, not phoning for quite a while. When he does, the below happens…

Audition is slow to start and, if you was not aware that you were watching such a well crafted film, would be very easy to write off before anything happens. There is, however, an underlying current of “wrongness” throughout the start of the film and this, alongside the knowledge that it is known as a gory film, is enough to keep you watching. Audition is slow, slow, slow but once it rockets towards the climax it moves so quickly that you dare not blink. This disparagey would normally hinder a film but in this case it works magnificently. vlcsnap-00021Once things start to go wrong the plot becomes darker and darker until we reach what must rate as one of the most disturbing sequences in cinema history. I refer of course to Shigiharus dream sequence which is so masterful that you do start to wonder if he really has dreamed the lot?

It is very difficult to review this without spoliering but scenes towards the end truly are skin crawling. So to this end I heartily recommend Audition to the strong of stomach.vlcsnap-00025

Paul out…

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