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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audition
The other reviews will give you a description of what the film is about (though probably too much of one), so I won't dwell on the subject. It's a film that Should be seen and not described anyway. This Is one of my all time favorite films, so I am going to be incredibly biased. This film is excellent: Takashi Miike (the director) is perfectly in his element with this...
Published on July 4 2004 by C. James

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay.....still better than most Hollywood thrillers!
I went into the viewing of this film with great anticipation since I'd heard how terrifically chilling it is. Although I will try and write about the film as a whole without giving away too much of the events, please be warned that some plot points may exposed.
However, as you may already know, the story centers around a single father(Aeyoama) that is considering the...
Published on May 10 2004


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audition, July 4 2004
The other reviews will give you a description of what the film is about (though probably too much of one), so I won't dwell on the subject. It's a film that Should be seen and not described anyway. This Is one of my all time favorite films, so I am going to be incredibly biased. This film is excellent: Takashi Miike (the director) is perfectly in his element with this kind of film. The best way, I think, to describe this film is to say that Audition is to Japan, what Silence of the Lambs or Psycho is/was to America. The lead actress, Eihi Shiina, does a frighteningly great job in her film debut. Simply put, Audition is an awesome and exceptional film :).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My foot was lost in trasnlation (and my ear and tongue), March 9 2006
By 
John E. Lawson "bizarro author" (Hyattsville, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Audition [Import] (DVD)
Audition illustrates how our expectations and interests color what we perceive. There seems to be a lot of debate about whether it's horror or romance, but really it's both - and an excellent example of both genres at the same time. I don't believe there's really a sucker punch here either, as it's clear throughout that something doesn't add up about the woman, and the man is too blind to listen to reason. What happens, though, is your emotional investment in the characters in the first two thirds of the film makes you hope against hope that there can be a happy ending. We're used to the Hollywood kid-glove treatment. The gore, violence, etc. isn't as bad as most reviewers would lead you to believe; watch Jack torture suspects on the USA television show 24, or see some episodes of Oz, and you'll find scenes as bad as this. What makes the snakes slither in your gut and bite your spleen is the emotionally crushing element, which - in this era of anything-goes desensitization - is a testament to Miike's directorial prowess. There's also a wonderfully bizarro sequence where Miike finally pulls out all the stops and plunges you into the pain, skillfully show you the what and why without "explaning" things in the typical dumbed-down Hollywood way. Audition is a must-see film, especially if you're into cross-genre work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ta-ra-ta-ta, May 10 2002
By 
S. Foster (Moira, Co Armagh United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Yes, the sound of the movie's anti-heroine as she sticks needles into her man's eyes stays with me. Audition is a gross melange of styles (love story/personal angst/macabre horror) which builds into a cresendo of harrowing & dramatically brilliant cinema where Asami, the seemingly ingenue girl who auditions for & wins a widower's love, leads him into a spiral of psychological confusion, so much that you wonder if the final scenes happen. Asami's tortured past creeps up on her & the boudnaries of reality & paranoia devastate Asami & the audience (let alone her partner!) to alarming effect. Let's just say that this movie is a rollercoaster of moods culminating in some of the most unsheathed & suggestively horrific images ever put into cinema. A movie which Hollywood doyenne's would never even entertain creating, cheesewire & pins will never be looked at in the same respect again!! Never did I imagine that Japanese cinema would be so brilliant (watch also Ring & Ring 2 for testimony) nor so grittily realistic. As a lover of horror, this movies not only whet but satisfied my appetite. Okay, it starts off a bit slow as a love story, but that's the point. The gripping transformation in Asami makes her acts of brutality increasingly powerful & downright scary. May put you off looking for Mrs Right:-)))))
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3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay.....still better than most Hollywood thrillers!, May 10 2004
By A Customer
I went into the viewing of this film with great anticipation since I'd heard how terrifically chilling it is. Although I will try and write about the film as a whole without giving away too much of the events, please be warned that some plot points may exposed.
However, as you may already know, the story centers around a single father(Aeyoama) that is considering the prospect of a second marriage; with his 16-yr old son's approval and recommendation, actually. After holding phony auditions, with the aid of his friend, to find the "perfect" girl, he is smitten as a kitten with a girl named Asami, and together they begin the courting process.
Too much time was spent in scenes where Asami proclaimed how happy she was that Aeyoama had called her for a date, or happy he called her, blah blah blah. I don't know how Aeyoama could not help but roll her eyes (I was!) after listening to her express that sentiment over & over, but hey, perhaps that is the type of complacency he was searching for in a wife? Originally, he'd picked Asami out of a stack of eligible partners as a result of the thoughts she had written down on her application. After meeting her though, it seemed like he became much more interested in her physical appearance. In one isntance, Aeoyama
compliments his son on the sexy young lass that followed him home from school that afternoon.
Eventually, she disappears and Aeyoama completely loses it, goes against his best friend's advice as well as his dead wife's warnings (in dreams) and goes to search her out, whatever the cost.
When she finally does reappear, Asami is no longer her shy bashful self. Instead, she is at the far end of the sensitive scale, to put it lightly. She inflicts pain on Aeyoama that can be expressed as the novel "Misery" times 100.
It seems as though the unspoken arrangement between torturer & torturee was written soon after Asami had gained Aeyoama's love for her. But apparently, this love was based on the love that Asami had been shown in her own life, as we are treated to scenes of Asami growing up & her studies of ballet. This is something that Aeyoama was not aware of, or probably failed to pick up on. It would be interesting to discover if he would have volunteered for the severe torture at the end of the film, had Asami asked; in comparison to Van Gogh's cutting off of ear. Apparently baking a cake for the loved one was not an option.
Anyway, there is a bit of confusion on this last idea since she is definitely getting her cookies out of the carnage she is inflicting; the idea being that she is the heroine and Aeyoama is the filthy "man" that uses and abuses females. She must phsyically alter him to represent the grotesque being he really is.
Very interesting ideas, very well adapted into film, but falls short in arriving at a conclusion of any kind. Some may view that as a plus, but I wanted Aeyoama to either accept responsibility for the violence infliced on him, or reject it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Skillful and real, April 28 2004
By A Customer
This movie is much more polished than Miike's other films; it's a professional movie with deliberate pace. I found it highly disturbing - Miike manipulates all elements of atmosphere in unison and focuses on creating that impact. The character of Asami is played quite intensely and deeply, and you can FEEL her psychosis. Trying to get past the indisputable shock value, I decided this movie transcends its vile subject matter by creating a real experience of its characters. Amazingly it never gives itself over fully to revelling in horror, and the movie ends with a hint of its initial soft and sad vibe.
A lot of people compare the dream sequences to David Lynch scenes, but I hardly understand Lynch yet I found these scenes pretty clear. It really seems that Miike is keeping his narrative accessible to ensure that the impact is not undermined by a misunderstanding of events. The whole movie uses foreshadowing and direct plot divulgence to create its tension.
WARNING, I AM ABOUT TO GIVE PLOT AWAY... When the guy is getting tortured and he lapses into a dream, only to wake up to the torture, it's far from indicipherable. Instead, it's visceral. I honestly was hoping to God that the torture was a dream myself, and was very unhappy to wake up to the torture reality. This movie does not require academic analysis to understand, yet it is very well-thought out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, surreal exploration of loneliness, April 4 2004
By 
David Bonesteel (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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After the death of his wife, producer Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has thrown himself into developing his career and raising his son, Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki). When his son suggests that he remarry, Aoyama decides that it may finally be time to end his loneliness. A friend (Jun Kunimura) suggests that they arrange a fake audition so that he can meet prospective fiancées. He is captivated by Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), whose philosophical thoughts on living with loss mirror Aoyama's own feelings after the death of his wife (Miyuki Matsuda). He pursues a relationship with her with results that will shock all but the most desensitized viewer.
This is a powerful meditation on how loneliness and abuse can warp a human personality. As repulsive and horrific as Asami ultimately proves to be, it seems clear that director Takashi Miike feels sympathy for her and, in a weird way, I did, too.
Be warned: the last act of this film will test your tolerance for non-linear narratives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri..., April 3 2004
By 
Aoyama is a sad lonely man whose wife died seven years previously. Instead of remarrying, Aoyama decided to put his all into his work and becomes relatively successful. However, the death of his wife leaves a hole in him, and when his son suggests that he get remarried he asks his friend Yoshikawa helps him by having a fake audition in which Aoyama can select 30 women and decide which one of them he wants to marry. He decides on the gorgeous Asami Yamazaki who is also very soft spoken, pleasant, and obedient. Aoyama soon becomes obsessed with the young woman, and their relationship begins to blossom revealing a flower full of worms. Asami is much more than what she appears to be.
It should be noted that, although Miike gets most of the acclaim for this film, Murakami Ryu wrote the screenplay. Murakami penned such notable novels as _Almost Transparent Blue_, _Coin Locker Babies_, and _In the Miso Soup_. If I had never heard of Miike before watching this film, I would have still known to be on my guard because of Murakami.
Although this film is ripe with violence, I believe that the main theme is lonliness. Aoyama is lonely. Asami sits by her phone in a dark room desperately waiting for Aoyama to call. These scenes display the lonliness that a number of Japanese, and of course others, feel in their post modern country. Surrounded by people, but all alone with no one they can really relate to.
Please be prepared for some very disturbing imagery.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A True "Femme Fatale", April 3 2004
By 
This asian romantic comedy-gone-wrong has a couple of neat and compelling ideas yet as a whole ends up being a disappointment. "Audition" tries to play with some conventions regarding the oriental female stereotyped role (shy, loyal and submissive women), delivering a strong and unexpected twist by the end of the movie. While this concept is somewhat interesting, the plot moves at a terribly slow and tiresome pace, being nothing more than flat mumbo-jumbo for about 3/4 of the movie.
This effort is forgettable and not very enticing for the most part, presenting a japanese romantic comedy (not very funny though) about a middle-aged man that makes an audition in order to choose an actress for a movie. Simultaneously, he`s also trying to find a girfriend in the process (and he manages to get one). "Audition" develops this scenario and suddently delivers a strong twist that provides some shocking and disturbing scenes, giving a new perspective into the protagonist`s recent (and apparently innocent and fragile) girlfriend.
Director Takashi Miike tries to raise subjects like the effects of isolation, the possibilty of love and the old "looks can be decieving" idea, yet this cinematic experience is flawed overall and just fails to convince. Sure, "Audition"`s last 20 minutes are strong and memorable material, still that doesn`t make for the unengaging and bland previous events.
An interesting failure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why reference checking is important, Feb. 6 2004
By 
Matthew King (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Auteur of more than 50 movies since 1991, Takashi Miike gained an international cult reputation in the year 2000 with the release of Audition. This film is an examination of the roles of women in modern Japanese society that completely shatters the myth of the Japanese woman being submissive and gentle.
Aoyama is a lonely man who lost his wife seven years ago. At the urging of his son, Aoyama agrees that it might be time to start seeing other women. His co-worker proposes a scheme: Set up a fake audition for an upcoming film (Aoyama is a media mogul) inviting several dozen women to try out for the part. The Audition in question is really an opportunity for Aoyama to be able to select from the pool his ideal woman. His choice is Asami, a former ballet dancer who seems to fit the profile of "beautiful, classy and obedient".
One of the more recurring themes in Audition is loneliness and how it can drive some to the brink of madness and do very questionable things. Although his co-worker's idea of this fake audition is sleazy and deceptive, Aoyama goes with it anyway. His personality is anything but mean or sleazy but Aoyama just doesn't possess the requisite social skills with the opposite gender to be able to find a woman in the more traditional way. His supreme sense of loneliness is what drives him to agree to the scheme. Asami, the object of his affection, seems even lonelier. She lives by herself in a tiny apartment and spends all of her time either curled up in bed or sitting motionless on the floor doing absolutely nothing. Miike's portrayal of this is effectively chilling, a tragic situation of two lovers who, because of their social awkwardness can never completely know each other.
Audition benefits greatly from the strength of the characters that Miike creates. Asami is a beautiful woman with godly looks who redefines the term "sweet" for most of the film. Once the movie ended however I could barely get myself to look at her image on the DVD box cover without feeling repulsed. That says lots about Miike's power to lull the viewer into a state of shock. The first  of the film moves slowly and makes us feel for the characters until we get assaulted in the last half hour with image after image of unpleasant gruesomeness (especially for a male viewer). In yet another example of the unpredictable and unconventional style of director Takashi Miike, the last half hour of the film turns into an exercise of surrealist cinema where things are never what they seem and what is a dream and is not a dream is unclear. Not many directors would be this good at playing it straight up for so much of the feature's length and then effectively turning it into a nifty David Lynch style head trip towards the end. A true masterpiece of disturbing cinema by a director that we're used to being disturbed by.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar, Jan. 22 2004
By 
Eric Sanberg (Berwyn, IL United States) - See all my reviews
I wish I could give this a higher rating because it is quite an original story with some compelling moments, but the fact is the movie falls apart near the end. Briefly, some years after the death of the protagonist's wife, he decides he might want to re-marry and goes about trying to find his ideal mate through auditioning women for a documentary about his trying to find his ideal mate. The woman he ends up falling for turns out to be a nutcase who proceeds to torture him to death ( or at least to an extreme degree of being handicapped).
The problem is that this may not really be happening and may only be a nightmare. The question is, there is really nothing in the set-up to suggest the whole thing isn't happenening exactly as the audience is seeing it, so why suggest it? It is certainly much more compelling to see this sweet (if creepy/mysterious)girl go off the deep end than to think it isn't really happening. And as you come to the end and she begs for sympathy due to her past, you are expected to forgive her for something she may not have even done.
This brings to mind the film Donnie Darko, where the viewer finds he has been caught up in some alternative reality. Finally, that film probably has more questions than answers, but it contained some weird, internal logic and still left me satisfied. This film left me frustrated because it doesn't resolve the key issue of who this girl is and did these things really happen.
This would have worked better as a straight-ahead thriller. It has a great premise and a really good set-up. The minor detective worked performed by the two main characters unveils some genuinely creepy things about the girl. If the director would have stuck with it to a more logical conclusion it would have been one nifty flick. As it stands, this might be one of the few films I hope Hollywood DOES attempt to re-make. This could be so much more.
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Audition Collectors Bluray [Blu-ray]
Audition Collectors Bluray [Blu-ray] by Takashi Miike (Blu-ray - 2009)
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