Audition (1999)

Audition (Ôdishon) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Director: Takashi Miike. Cast: Ryo IshibashiEihi ShiinaTetsu Sawaki 

Tarantino named it a “masterpiece” while many critics consider this a cult classic of Japanese “horror” cinema, and yet somehow “Audition” had always escaped me.

It is fairly slow film that build to its final mad climax and which by the time the credits roll you know it’ll be the thing you’ll remember for the rest of your life. 

Like some of the best from the genre (Rosemary’s baby, just to name one), it all starts off as a “normal” film taking its time to establish the characters and setting up the stage. The film does it pretty well, creating a tense mood and getting inside of the head of our protagonist (though some of the secondary characters end up being slightly irrelevant by the time you get to the end).

It’s finally about 50 minutes into it that you realise “Audition” may actually not be the “romantic” movie they’ve been trying to sell you. Without giving much away (the less you know, the better)I feel I may have to give you note of warning in case you haven’t seen it: this is not for the squeamish people!

I knew I was in for a tough climax and to be honest I have a strong stomach and am quite used to this sort of stuff so I was able to keep my eyes on the screen (… only just).

In fact I thought it would be harder to watch. In the end I felt it all got wrapped up a bit too quickly, especially considering the time it took to get there.

Needless to say, I don’t quite agree with Tarantino. Masterpieces of cinema are well others. I was told this is one of those films that you either love or hate. Well, weirdly I’m right in between. Though I will certainly remember it for quite a while.

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