a review by the Crow.
This crow originally watched Audition around Halloween time some years ago.
On a date night.
Take that as you will.
Now, before those of you who know anything about this movie judge this crow too harshly, take into account that neither he nor his date knew anything about it other than the premise: widowed man stages an “audition” to find a new wife.
For those of you who don’t, hold off on the music and the …candlescough.
So there we were, vodkas in hand, bottle lying on its side on the bed between us, half a pizza in its box on the absent roommate’s bed, a pac-
Okay. Let’s just get this over with, shall we?
CONTENTS OF THE AUDITION
WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS SOME [MINOR] SPOILERS
So, as said above, after some convincing by his teenage son to put himself back on the market, Mr Ayoama gets in touch with a film producer friend of his and they set up a fake “audition” to find potential new mates.
After going through a few women, Ayoama finds himself instantly attracted to this woman Asami. Mr Producer discovers that the woman’s references are all out of reach, and that a music producer she once worked with has gone AWOL. Ayoama, though, goes for her anyway.
So far, so good.
So of course, this is where things go fuckup. Asami lives alone in a sparsely-decorated apartment. For four days and nights, she sits next to her phone (not moving or anything). When it does ring, she pretends like she never expected a call.
The two date for a bit, and eventually, Ayoama takes her out to a hotel by the sea. On the trip, Asami tells him about how she was sexually abused as a little girl, and shows him scars on her body. The two boink, and Asami makes him promise her after to never love anyone but her. And the muppet Ayoama says yes.
Now, The Corvid Review may not be the best place for dating advice (see above), but we don’t have to be experts to tell you that (all things considered) this is when you run.
Anyways, Asami disappears, and Ayoama goes looking for her. What happens next is best found out for oneself.
PIANO WIRES AND NEEDLES
Audition is not a spectacular movie in terms of production quality and such, but it doesn’t really have to be.
It does what it does well. This crow hasn’t seen any of Takashi Miike’s other work, but understands that the man is quite prolific. Audition was completed in about three weeks, and was almost entirely shot on location.
I count that the movie has only one real low point. and two very high points. It manages to slip seamlessly from the world of psychological thriller into the realm of horror.
The woman playing Asami knocks it out of the park, which is even more spectacular when you consider that she was a full-time model (not an actress) just some time prior to Audition. Ayoama is also acted well, in all his range: from prick to victim. When you’ve got talents like these two in your movie, you’re comfortably set up for a good end product.
Our two lead characters are what really what make the film click, though. Ayoama’s a real dickhead at heart (even though he’d never admit to it, and perhaps doesn’t even know it), as is his movie producer friend. But he’s also a complete and utter loser. How they would ever pull off this phoney, scammy plan they have going on at the start of the movie is beyond me.
But it stops with the introduction of Asami, and the retribution they get for their dickish behaviour is excessive to the point where one has little option but to sit there, slack-jawed, wondering what limits this woman’s viciousness has.
While Asami is ultimately the villain, the spectre of her possible past abuse (Asami implies she hasn’t been entirely truthful with Ayoama, but this crow is inclined to think she was, indeed, abused) claws at the edges, rallying for sympathy. Of course her past experiences make her the monster she is, but that in no way excuses what the hell she does over the course of the movie.
Ayoama, the loser/prick gains all the sympathy out of the movie. But his dickishness and (especially) his stupidity never really slip out of the picture.
All in all, Audition nails it. The nails aren’t really all that big, though. What it does best is when it sticks those few needles in. Great job.
This crow understands that Audition has been seen as both feminist and mysoginist and has been read and argued over from both viewpoints and this and that and blah-blah …and honestly, doesn’t care much for all that tosh.
Honestly, that’s just reading too much into things. The movie’s not really all that complex.
It’s a psychological thriller. And a good one, at that. Is it a horror movie? Well, it could be taken as such. The two high points in the movie definitely have that vibe to them.
Also; as a side note: this crow recently wrote a short story based off’f the line “could I write something Park Chan-wook would direct?” …and having written this review, it’s obvious that it was inspired by Audition as well as the Rotherham case. When its published, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Now, before this crow flap-flaps away, let me get around to answering the question that’s certainly in the minds of you who’ve seen Audition:
How did the night end? Well, we got to that first “high point”, and we ended up in the bathroom, the crow keeping her hair out of the bowl. I just ended up finishing the movie back at my room and that was that.
Pizza was lovely, though. I told her no pineapple was the way to go.