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on 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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on July 5, 2007
Takashi Miike's Audition is a disturbing and at times confusing film. That being said, try to judge it for yourself while watching it, as the film takes you on an interesting and deceptive ride that plays on our definitions of film genres and cliche devices. In this respect Miike is not unlike Tarantino. He is a director who thinks outside of the box and seemed to recognize the potential in expressing himself with this story...and used this wisely to scare the hell out of me.

The story is about a widower who decides to finally begin a search for a new wife at the suggestion of both his son and his movie producer friend. But how will he find his new bride? Well, this man's friend is of course a filmmaker and he decides to hold an audition for this widower, so he can look for an attractive girl with a history in some kind of artistic discipline (i.e. dancing, piano, ballet etc.). Our protagonist possesses a handful of applications and must choose 30 girls to audition for a part in this faux movie. His friend agrees that he must find a girl who is happy to be his wife, and happy women are never good enough actors, so whoever he chooses will convincingly not be acceptable for this fake movie role to being with. However, contrary to his friend's advice our protagonist chooses a girl named Asami, who is profoundly unhappy. She used to be a ballerina but broke her hip and feels that having to quit something she loves can be paralleled to accepted death itself. Asami is not happy but she is an attractive 24 year old girl who has intrigued our hero and he more or less chose her before the audition happens anyway. The film takes a turn as we begin to see some hints as to what kind of person Asami is and all her mysteries are gradually revealed. Trust me when I say there is plenty about Asami to reveal.

Miike gives us a film that comes off as a Romantic Comedy in the first 80 minutes and then slowly transforms into a thriller/mystery kind of film, and then smacks us over the head with it's intense climax and conclusion that is shock, horror, gore and utter madness. Audition could've easily become a one-trick-pony in it's goal to play with our understandings of genres and what to expect, but it actually goes far beyond that and rarely gets credit for doing so. This is a very sharp film on many levels and in many ways. It is smart and surprising. I highly recommend this film to anyone willing and able to deal with it's violent content. I also see this as a gateway and introduction to Miike's films and other films like his. You shouldn't regret discovering this filmmaker.

I have heard people say this is exploitative but that is likely a judgement on Miike overall, as Audition is one of his few films that really isn't exploitative at all. In fact, in terms of `gore' films Audition is not even close to Ichi the Killer but it should be taken with a warning as it is still very violent and realistic. I don't think this film deserves beyond an R-rating when we take into account the violence portrayed in "The Passion of the Christ". The limits have been pushed enough to allow films like Audition wider release in the United States without forcing either an NC-17 or no rating at all. There is almost no nudity in Audition but the violence and torture is creepy and well beyond acceptable for children to view.
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on March 9, 2006
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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on May 10, 2002
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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on February 11, 2014
“If you ever need your Foot to be lost in-translation”this is the movie for you,sometimes it’s not always
good to trust a woman who can be,well a woman,they always seem to want more space than the
universe,what a subtle (suttle) little movie this is, it creeps up on you like a ton of bricks,
“Auditions”are open to find the woman of his dreams, “Shigeharu Aoyama” (Ryo Ishiashi) (the Grudge) is looking for the
perfect woman,after the death of his first wife,it’s been Seven years now and his son wants him to get married
or go dating,so his film producer friend “Yasuhisa Yoshikawa”( Jun Kunimura),(Ichi the Killer)set up a fake Audition,
after seeing about Thirty women he picked the silent one,that was a big mistake,his producer friend did not like the
idea of him seeing her and warned him to stop,but you know when you’re smitten with love nothing matters,
This,{you can call it what you want} Horror/Torture,it’s the way I see it,will make your Skin crawl with pain,
There’s a saying on the back cover of this Disc cover,that say it all, “Mainstream films don’t come much more disturbing
than this,sometimes I wonder why film-makers make movies like this,then I remember {Jeffery Dahmer}and a-lot more,
Runtime 115 Minutes. this two disc one Blu-ray (movie).one D.V.D.special features has and extra 90 min.of footage,
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.
“You Can Say He Went Into It With Both Feet..?
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on November 5, 2009
Is how I would describe this film, I heard the hype and thought as an afficianado, I am always open to new horror if it's not to cheesy, this was a character study and a really well done film as a result .despite the misogynistic leanings of the main character, he was sympathetically portrayed , and you wanted to see how his story would unfold, as far as horror goes, the horrific parts are actually in the last 15 minurtes and are very graphic and might disturb some A very good thriller, you will probably re watch .Acting is very good, pacing as well . The leads are very good, you are drawn to them when on screen. So watch and rewatch, this is a keeper where as something like "dead silence" , watch then sell it to cash converters !
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on April 3, 2004
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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on April 3, 2004
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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on February 6, 2004
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 ¾ 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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on January 22, 2004
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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