Okay, so… Audition. I’d heard plenty of Audition’s last, infamous half-hour, and I steeled myself in preparation for it, but I needn’t have worried all that much; it was intense, like a nails-on-a-chalkboard kind of feeling, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. At least for me. I almost wanted to go through this review without mentioning the last third, but I’d be doing a disservice to the film by doing so; it wants you, so badly, to remember that section forever, and indeed just about every other review I’ve come across makes mention of it, so it’s not exactly a spoiler alert.
Now, as for the film itself; it starts off quite meekly, as the story of a widower who, after the concerns of his son, decides to remarry, and upon the suggestion of a friend, uses the pretense of a movie audition he is holding to seek out a potential prospect. He finds one in Asami Yamazaki, and despite reservations from his friend, decides to pursue her. The film at the start is very well made, very sweet and serene with its would-be love story; it’s only during a few brief moments that there seems to be something amiss with the young girl. And then, it hits you, coming across as so much of a sidewinder that your mind truly feels like it has exploded. You almost can’t believe you’re watching the same film, that’s how jarring it is, and it’s effective to boot; I won’t go into detail about the torture sequence, but it definitely gets under your skin.
Takashi Miike is an evil, evil man. What’s more, I’m not the only one to think so; one screening had a female viewer run from the theater, screaming at the director of how evil he was. It’s stories like that that only serve to cement Audition’s infamy. It probably would’ve been more effective had I not known what was coming, but this is like The Sixth Sense; it’s almost impossible to talk about the film without talking about the ending. Hopefully, you’ll take it as well as I did; I do personally know some people that would cower, shielding their eyes, yet still hypnotically entranced by the events on the screen, and I was expecting this to be one of those rare films to really evoke an expression of emotion from me, even if it was fear or disgust. I guess I’m just desensitized thanks to movies like Saw and Hostel, but your mileage may vary. Big, big warning about diving into this one; know what you’re getting into. Or don’t, and be that much more affected by the whiplash when it hits you.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10