Audition (Uncut Special Edition) Review
Written by: cronenbergfan
Audition Uncut Special Edition run time: 115 min Dir: Takashi Miike. Having only discovered Asian-horror phenomenon about 5 years ago or so, I must admit I was bitten awfully hard by that bug. Through the recommendation of a friend, I was told that if I wanted to see the most outlandish and not necessarily for the squeamish-like films, I should set my sights on Takashi Miike. And so I did. My first experience with this director was Audition.
The film centers around Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), who is living alone with his son, Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki), after his wife, Ryoko (Miyuki Matsuda), passes away. After being goaded by Shigehiko, Shigeharu decides to remarry. So he then enlists the help of a movie producer friend, Yasuhisha Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), who sets up bogus auditions for a film. And this is basically the main plot and focus of the film.
I do not wish to ruin any other aspects of the film because they must be seen and experienced by the viewer to really have an effect. The plot plays out well and although some may critize Miike for just be a schlock director simply upping the ante on the Shock-and-Awe style of horror, I do not share those tags or labels for he certainly knows how to set a mood. I will, however, warn some of you that you may find the film drags along at times or that it may be a little TOO slow for you hardcore slasher-fan types, but as the saying goes: "all good things come to those who wait."
The overall experience for me was fantastic. It's very rare that a director manages to get performances from his actors and actresses that produce such profound emotions within the viewer, and the sounds and colors and foreboding gloom that permeates the screen may be hard to take for some, but for me it's tell-tale sign of a good director who knows how to use the tools available to him to their fullest! I cannot emphasize Miike's use of sounds enough, for if there's one thing that sticks with me about his work is his ear and knack for sounds.
I gave this film a 9 because it can be viewed over and over again and I still find key dialogue of little quirks in scenes that I had previously missed or paid little attention to, and the climax is just amazing; it has to be seen and seen again. Thanks to this flick, it set me on a path to collect and track down a bunch more of Miike's work, and so far I cannot get enough of him. Oh, on a side note, for all you Hostel fans, keep an eye out for Miike's cameo in the first Hostel.