Audition (1999)

Do not trust Asian chicks, sometimes you get one like this!

Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has lived as a widower for too long and decides it’s time to marry again. But how will he find a wife? When a friend suggests he hold a fake audition to pick the right woman, he takes him up on it — only to realize that his choice may be a better actress than he bargained for.

The film starts off really slow. We get to know this dude, as he is coping with being alone for the rest of his life, and you can tell shits going to get out of whack, mostly cause of the ironic feel to all of it. However, I never really thought shit would get this out of whack.

It has a slow pace, but for the most part, it works. It builds up suspense, for the scenes when we see that she has totally lost it. Many scenes are filmed with no score, and creates this state of unsettlement within the story, and although the subject material is dark, it doesn’t get too dark until the end. It not only works as a suspense thriller, but also as a psychological thriller, where we are taken back by what actually is going on.

As many of you have heard, this is an extremly up-setting film. The violence in this film is gruesome, disgusting, but at the same time, made in an extraordinary. I couldn’t turn my head away, cause the violence doesn’t feel exploited, it is shot with no score, and all of the sound is concentrated on the shock of the violence, and the terror that is being shown.

Director Miike explores themes about the role of women in male-dominated Asian society, with the women taking their revenge in a jarring sequence that plays like a kick to the gut. The tone of the film shifts seismically between beginning and end, and Miike handles it seamlessly, moving from quiet, contemplative scenes to psychologically and graphically violent imagery. And although I was glad we fully understand why this chick, Eihi Shiina, was well told throughout the film, however, there are times when I feel like Ryo Ishibashi’s character was shown in a d-bag way. He is trying to pick up chicks using a fake film audition, I didn’t really see the coolness in that, so why would I want to cheer for this guy, let alone think of him as a protagonist. Also, the film is quite slow, and doesn’t quite speed up until basically an hour and thirty five minutes into it.

Consensus: Audition uses suspense, and psychological aspects well enough to convey senses of emotions, but is way too long for, especially when it all leads up to the final 15 minutes, and doesn’t seem that well thought out.




  1. I agree with you on this. It’s a good film but probably does go around the houses to get to the memorable final act. I have one key memory from watching this film and it never fails to make me shiver!

  2. Yeah, the pacing’s an issue depending on whether or not you know what’s coming at the end, but boy howdy is this a hard one to forget. Agree about the how the main character was shown in a d-bag kind of way, but overall, I thought he got totally victimized and did not deserve what was coming to him. Either way, good stuff, good review, glad you dug it, man.

  3. Gotta watch this one of these days. I’ve been avoiding it because I don’t generally like the super-realistic gore that I’ve heard this film has. I wonder did the trend begin with this? I prefer my gore inventive, fun and slightly detached from reality. Still as one of the premier horror films from Japan, I need to see it.

  4. I agree with the pacing. If you don’t know what is in store during the last act, you will be contemplating when to turn it off or fall asleep like almost nearly did. Maybe there could have been more teasing or tantalizing to liven it up at the beginning, but whatever the case, you forget all about how boring and slow it was when that last act comes along.

    It’s a great look into male dominated Asia as you said. I came across this film expecting something much, much different. I think I’m glad I was wrong.

  5. This film is an uncomfortable concoction of tender sentiment and sadistic sensation, not one that I’m likely to forget in a hurry or one that I’ll be watching again in a hurry.

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