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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 June 30, 2002
More than any other movie I've seen (and the runner-ups would be other Takashi Miike movies), this movie is an experience, reminding you of the thrill and emotional power movies can hold over an audience. The director is able to play with your emotions as few other artists are able, regardless of artistic genre. If you haven't seen the movie yet, don't read these reviews - they can only diminish or intellectualize the experience.
I don't think it's fair to compare this movie to other horror movies, as some of the other reviews have done, or to question the plausibility of an ex-ballerina going postal, which isn't the point. Rather, it's a sick joke being played on the audience. Miike shows amazing range as he's able to create a perfectly acceptable, even compelling romantic comedy, and then slips the rug from under the audience, turning it into something so much more horrific than any straight horror movie could be. I remember a NY Times review, which (favorably) compared this movie to Maria suddenly joining the Nazis somewhere around the Sound of Music's intermission, than going after the van Trapp family with a machine gun...
The movie was made with great craft and restraint (two words not to be associated with other Miike flicks), and as such bears repeated viewings. However I think the main reason to own this movie is to take it out of the somewhat creepy dvd case, lend it to a friend without offering a work of explanation, and seeing what their reaction is.
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on November 26, 2003
I prefer films, whether they be horror or psychological thrillers (and this one is sort of both), where the suspect or villain isn't beyond human and just conveniently evil for the sake of an escalating level of suspense and to draw a close to the mystery. They're more realistic in the sense that the 'bad guys' are depicted as individuals with their own thoughts, perceptions and personality, etc, and they respond to everything around them in their own way and have been affected by specific experiences and encounters from their past which have molded their overall perspective on the film scenario. When you have a more profound understanding and can feel compassion for the misunderstood antagonist - it makes them all the more fearful because they're more human and they are simply acting upon their own instincts, motivation and desire. Since you understand this and you may even relate and have a connection to the killer, in a way you want them to get away with what they're doing as though you were doing it yourself.
This film really touched me because I felt incredibly connected to Asami and the issues of isolation and loneliness addressed in this film. In fact, I felt sorry for her as much as I thought she was foolish for getting herself involved such a predicament in the first place. The whole situation could've been avoided realistically, but then when you consider Asami's devastating past and her current grief-stricken, oppressive lifestyle it makes a lot more sense. The torture scene then seems even almost romantic.
Because of this film's complex storyline and themes, I think it stands out on its own as more of a thriller and tragic romance than a horror film. I think it delivers a powerful message which is bound to touch most of us with pondering doubts and questions regarding our own identity, what we look for in relationships, and how we perceive culture and tradition.
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on August 5, 2002
I saw the trailer of audition on the 'Ring 0' DVD and it looked dark and somewhat chilling.
At last after some months I managed to find a copy to watch and was very dissapointed.
The whole film is kind of dull and I sat in anticipation of events that would take the film into its dark ending. The first hour or so concentrates solely on the main character finding a wife, the next half hour is very confusing and at one point has you wondering "what the hell is going on".
Parts in the ending re-evaluate conversations which have suddenly changed and the main character having visions of his torturers victims. And you think if he knew all this why did he want to marry her?
The torture scene is not completely horrific but the lead actress does play the ending superbly and you can feel her insanity. Without her the torture scene would just be another bit of gore.
The movie does have its endearing moments such as the father and son scenes. However you never feel that much sympathy for the wife-seeker, even at the end.
For those that are looking for a real horror you're better off sticking with Ring.
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on June 8, 2002
audition is difficult to classify...maybe its a psychological-gore film?...romantic?..whatever it is, it works!
stop wasting your time!..and ignore hollywood's annual garbage..
you don't know what you're missing!
sometimes, this film is over the top, however,
audition has it all, suspense, great acting, score, a noir ambience,emotions,gore,intrigue...
the DVD
contains a 20 or 30 mins interview with director takashi miike.
(commentary by t.miike , also available, same thing with his bio, and filmography)
- the gallery photo., the trailers, and the history of the egyptian theatre are also part of the menu.
overall this dvd is pretty much complete..the image quality is not particuraly fabulous, but it is superior to a vhs.
-Ringu (ring) directed by hideo nakata.....-The Piano Teacher (la pianiste) directed by michael haneke.....-das experiment (the experiment) directed by oliver hirschbiegel.....Thesis directed by alejandro amenabar.....a pure formality (una pura formalita) directed by guiseppe Tornatore.....
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on April 4, 2003
Just as the main character falls victim to his beautiful and mysterious love interest, I fell victim to what's amounted to nothing more than a pile of hype. The premise and even the story are excellent, but the execution falls flat. The person who wrote the script apparently was fired half way through the movie, which then becomes an "art film," trying way too desperately to be clever and confusing.
Movies such as this try to make the viewer think that if they didn't like it, they didn't get it. I got it. It sucked anyway. If nothing else, I look at Audition as yet another case study in which viewers are told to think alike, and thus do. Just because a movie is non sequitur does not automatically make it interesting, innovative, brilliant, intelligent, ingenious, etc. The skill of Audition's marketers far exceeded that of the movie's producers, the unfortunate result being a sub-par film that could've/should've been a lot better being hailed as something more than it's worthy of.
The movie wins points for premise, plot, acting, and some profoundly disturbing gore, but Audition proves that none of these things matter in the absence of effective execution.
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