We’ve heard over and over how great this Japanese film is. I rented and downloaded it to take on vacation, but never watched it. Today Gunny had an appointment, and knowing he’ll never be able to watch 2 movies tonight after the Sprout goes to bed, I watched this on my own. The film is Audition, from 1999 and starring Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina, The premise is a widower’s teenage son tells him he should remarry. He tells his film producer friend his intention to find a new wife and the friend comes up with a plan: to hold auditions for a fake movie and to cast a young, skilled, and “obedient” woman to be a wife. Aoyama becomes enamored of a girl named Asami–a former ballerina. The film producer warns Aoyama that Asami’s references and resume do not add up, but Aoyama doesn’t listen and pursues the girl.
At first this was sort of like “Sleepless in Toyko.” The father and son relationship is sort of charming, and even the film producer’s plan seemed more genuinely helpful than sleazy. My chunks began to rise when obedience was listed as a good quality in a wife, but I scolded myself to stop painting everything with my American brush. Anyway, this being a horror film, I knew things would go wrong, but I didn’t know how. When Asami’s references and things couldn’t be verified I thought maybe she was a ghost. And then some shit happened and I thought, “okay, a vengeful ghost.” Long story short, this veered into torture which I stated at the beginning of this 31 film marathon I simply don’t want to watch. I admit fast-forwarding a bit because I just don’t need that shit in my head. I don’t know what the fuck happened in this movie. I read some of the IMDB message boards and it seems like no one knows what the deal is. Some people absolutely love this film, but I am decidedly not one of them.