Audition ★★★★½

Only pain and suffering will make you realize who you are

After “Ichi the Killer”, Audition is the second movie I’ve watched of director Takashi Miike. Whereas I was a little bit disappointed of Ichi, I’ve to admit that I really enjoyed Audition all the more. For all of you who don’t know Miike, you should be aware of, that his movies are really specific. He is a master of gore, brutality, atrocities and his work is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Although his films are really disturbing, he isn’t just a simple gorehound, but rather his motifs go far deeper.  

Audition itself is the story about Shigeharu Aoyama, a lonely father whose wife died some years ago. He and his son live together in their old house. Because of his urge to togetherness, Shigeharu starts an official audition, where he pretends to search a new actress for an upcoming movie. Secretly he also hopes to find a new wife among the ranks of candidates. Soon he gets acquainted with Asami Yamazaki, a shy and retiring woman who fascinates the lonely father immediately …

You can cut this movie into half. The first half is very slow paced and feels more like a romantic drama. It shows the emotional life of the characters and explains the backgrounds, whilst at the same time the spectator always has the feeling that something is wrong. The second half drifts in a mixture of horror and torture, which partially reminds of torture-porns like “Martyrs” or “Hostel” and makes even hardcore fans cringe. But Audition is far more than a mindless slaughter flick. Miike plays with the feeling of reality and imagination. Besides he also manages to create a link between love and pain, as well as he questions the whole concept of loyalty and relationships. Everybody who watches this movie will have another experience and because there isn’t any resolution at the end, all people need to find their own explanation for the just seen. It is a unique trip, deepness hidden behind brutality, a film that will make you reflect and recap!

The cinematography is breathtaking, equally to the unusual soundtrack. The actors are doing well, especially Eihi Shiina as Asami is very mentionable here. The whole flick was a great excursion into Japanese cinema again and meanwhile I really begin to fall in love with Japanese movies! Highly recommendable for everybody with a strong stomach!

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