This movie became kind of a legend for me. I’ve been hearing about it from all different sources on the Internet, and unfortunately one of them managed to spoil one of the key scenes for me. At the time, I didn’t think of it that much, as I thought there will be more than this, but no, it was actually pretty important thing. Because Audition is not what it seems to be, and even though you know the basics gist of it, the movie still manages to surprise you.
And since I want to break the cycle and not spoil anything for anyone, who hasn’t seen this movie (even though it’s been out for over 20 years now) I will need to put a spoiler tag, as this movie is impossible to discuss without talking about everything that happens, so…
Beware, SPOILERS are coming!
You might have heard the plot line of this movie, where a guy is auditioning for his new wife (hence the title of this movie) and the one he chooses turns out to be bit more psycho than one would appreciate. So far, nothing too unexpected, right? But what I was genuinely surprised by was how little we see of the actual torture (which I am NOT complaining about, just to be extra clear here) and how basically 90% of this movie is dedicated to everything that happens prior to it. For example, the audition process actually takes time, we see the father’s relationship with his son, we see him going about his life, you know, the usual. What I am trying to say is if you are watching this movie just for the “cheap thrills” of just another “torture porn” movie, this is only it for the last 10/15 minutes or so and this movie is much more than this.
Prior to that, the movie deals with plenty of stuff, like how it is to loose your wife and trying to “get back there”, how dangerous it is to trust some random person who you’ve just met, even though they might seem like the most polite, non-threating person under the sun… this movie was truly ahead of its time. Also, I expected for her to move in with him straight-away, but no, after the first night together, she disappears and he is trying to look for her, but all the information he’s got about her turn out to be dead ends. The movie is really great when comes to subverting your expectations of what is to come.
And yet, towards the end, I felt like I needed more. Like something was missing from the overall enjoyment. And I think I might know what. The thing I had spoilt for me was the scene where Eihi Shiina (chillingly great performance) is using the string to cut Ryo Ishibashi‘s foot and that imagery alongside the sound effects, to me that’s the key moment of this movie. That sheer, raw brutality of that moment, that was unfortunately spoiled for me long time ago. And I know this is going to sound really weird, but I honestly expected something worse, when came to the actually torture scene.
Now I am not saying everything that happened in that scene wasn’t shocking, it was, but unfortunately as a person, who sat through all the Saw movies, who have been influenced to a certain extent by this movie, it takes a lot to stun me. So because I had the “main” scene spoiled for me, I was kind of expecting there to be more and there wasn’t. Which is not to say this movie is bad because of it, not by any means, it just unfortunately I’ve seen it late, I’ve had it spoiled and that unfortunately takes its toll on my overall experience of this really, really disturbing movie.
Audition is definitely one of the “granddaddies” of the term I’ve used prior – “torture porn”. As it shows you something most movies shy away from and it almost bathes in it. But in here, it’s not actually done over the top, like in Saw franchise, where they had to one up every upcoming sequel with more horrifying/disgusting traps. In Audition, it’s pretty straightforward, and mainly – the torture porn aspect of it is almost a by-product! Yes, the movie is famous because of it, but at the same time, it’s much more than that and I think that’s the main difference between this and every other movies in this genre. Audition is a mix of drama, comedy (yes, surprisingly there are funny scenes, mainly during the actual audition part of the movie) thriller, where the movie might have been better, had they given us bit more. Maybe additional 30 minutes, to explore more of Eihi’s background, because from what we’ve been shown, there was a reason she acted in such a way and even though I get not showing us too much, to let the audience be more engaged, I wanted more of her backstory.
Overall, Audition is definitely a movie, that’s not for everyone. It’s still (after 20+ years) a chilling, yet mesmerizing movie that takes its time, it’s meticulously crafted with some great performances, mainly by our main duo. And if you can handle a bit of the “good old fashioned” torture and you love a film, that takes its time, there is a bit of a mystery, drama, comedy and thriller all wrapped up in one AND you haven’t had it spoiled by anyone, this might be something worth checking out.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,