Monday, 12 November 2012
Takashi Miike would easily rank, along with the likes of David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Gasper Noe, as one of the most polarizing contemporary filmmakers. As my introduction to this notorious Japanese agent provocateur, I ended up making a wise decision by starting with Audition. In fact, if someone isn’t aware of Miike’s love for “extreme filmmaking”, the movie can really take one for a ride; it opened on a deceptively sedate, charming and heartwarming note, and went for the crazy fifth gear only during its final leg. Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a middle-aged widower, upon some prodding by his teenaged son, decides to start dating women. His friend proposes a unique idea for finding his match – an audition, which he eventually agrees to. He quickly finds himself attracted to one of the applicants, Asami (Eihi Shiina), a mysterious and vulnerable looking young woman, and soon starts dating her. Miike slowly, and quite cheekily, start posting a clue here and a hint there that Asami might not really be just a cute, lonely girl. And then, in one unforgettable scene (the one where she picks up her phone in her dank apartment, with a sack suddenly taking a leap behind her), the eeriness surrounding took a very real form, thus leading the film to its gleefully violent, sadistic and bloody climax. Nonetheless, for most parts, the movie managed to be a fine exploration of urban loneliness, coping with deep scars (both physical and psychological), and the commoditization of women. The final third or so, in comparison, was one hell of a psychedelic, nightmarish and deliberately surreal ride through pain, pain, and well, more pain.
Director: Takashi Miike
Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller/Psychological Horror