Odishon / Audition (1999) - I'm glad I'm single - 9/10 (01/07/16)
''Audition'' is the kind of movie that you will never forget once you have watched it. There are many elements that make this movie memorable.
The contrast between the beginning of the film that almost feels like a light-hearted romantic fairy tale and the conclusion that turns into a mentally and physically violent horror movie is made in a unique, profound and detailed way.
The acting by former model Eihi Shiina in her debut film as well as the performance by her male counterpart Ryo Ishibashi who had acted in a few critically underrated movies before is superb, diversified and credible.
The use of sounds, locations, light effects and camera angles is very detailed, innovative and intellectual and adds to the story that shifts between two extremes.
The director also leaves a lot of room for interpretation in a movie that seems like a mixture of a beautiful dream, a gruesome nightmare and a reality somewhere in between despair and hope. This is where Takashi Miike surpasses the novel by Ryu Murakami this movie is based upon. ''Audition'' is one of the rare cases where the movie adaption is probably better than the source material which is already stunning.
Many critics have seen themes such as family, isolation, misogyny, relationship issues and social values in this movie but I personally don't think that there is a deeper message in this film. The fact that this film can still be analyzed in so many different ways shows us the greatness of an unpretentious director who lets its audience put the pieces together without trying to spread a precise message. Even the conclusion of the movie is debatable and it's up to the audience to decide whether they witnessed a twisted dream turning into a nightmare at some point or to an accurate story.
The line between reality and dream is very thin and this adds to the mysterious atmosphere which can be seen as the fascinating guiding line to this masterpiece.
Another element that is very convincing is that you can at certain points feel with or even identify with the characters. You empathize with the poor physically abused child. You feel the fragile character of a woman that has been disappointed so many times in her life. You can understand the concern of the side characters for many different reasons. You can identify with the loneliness of the clumsy yet sympathetic widower. This empathy is what makes one of the best final scenes in the history of cinema even more intense.
The story seems to be simple but at the same time it isn't. We get to know a middle-aged widower and businessman who feels lonely despite the presence of his caring son and his adorable dog. When his teenage son starts to date a charming girl, he suggests his father to open up to a new relationship again. After some hesitation, the widower works out a plan with a clever friend and partner. They decide to arrange an audition for the female lead role of a movie project but in reality the two men are looking for a perfect wife that meets the widower's reasonable criteria. He falls for a charming, emotional and mysterious young woman that simply isn't like all the other women. He starts dating her to get to know her better and their feelings for each another seem to be mutual as the woman isn't disappointed when she gets to know that there won't be any movie with her. Despite the warnings of his friend and partner, the clumsy widower is overwhelmed by positive emotions and quickly invites the young woman for a romantic weekend at a beautiful seaside hotel where they intensify and solidify their relationship. After an emotional night, the young woman has disappeared and the confused widower tries to find her. He finds out more and more mysterious details about the young woman's past and tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Telling you anything more than this would be too revealing. Anybody who enjoys movies should watch this mysterious drama. It's one of these movies that is so great that it will leave an impressive impact on anyone who watches it.« Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu / Tokyo Gore Police (2008) - More than gore - 7/10 (01/07/16)Chasse-Galerie: La légende (2016) - A charming piece of French-Canadian culture - 8/10 (01/07/16) »
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