Audition is just one of those movies, you know.
The film follows Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) a widower that upon encouragement from his college age (?) son decides to find a new wife. After sharing his intentions to find a suitable mate with a coworker in the movie business, they hatch a scheme to screen a bevy of eligible young women in the guise of a film audition. Pouring over thousands of resume’s, Shigeharu is smitten with one woman in particular. After seeing her audition, he reaches out and they start dating. His coworker has doubts about her, but Shigeharu is undaunted and falls madly in love. Turns out, you should listen to your friends.
Review of Audition
Much is made about Audition as a truly disturbing movie, and I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. Is my heart so cold that it’s no longer stirred by amputations? What has become of me.
This is the case of being on the vanguard and being eclipsed by the films that were inspired by it. In 1999 torture porn horror had not been a term that anyone had heard of, and at the time this must have been shocking and groundbreaking for genre fans. However after Saw, Hostel, and the Human Centipede, Audition seems quaint almost.
The strong suit of the film is the midstream switcheroo of genres. Well into act 2, this is a pretty charming, run-of-the-mill Romcom, but the third act is straight Lynchian horror.
It portends to be a deep and psychological film, but there really isn’t much depth in the end in my opinion. No real strong statements are made other than abuse is bad, and can have lasting effects. I wish they would have delved deeper into Asami’s backstory and her unmasked psyche, but they really wanted to slow roll the plot and then take their time with the gore in the third act.
Don’t get me wrong, the third act is very strong, and works, it just takes so long to get there without fully using the runtime to make the characters compelling.
Overall this is a unique and weird movie, but isn’t going on the top of any of my lists. It deserves attention, but seems a little overhyped for what it is.