Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike has made over 100 movies since he started his career in th early 1990s and is still making even more. Miike had already directed almost 30 films when he made Audition in 1999. The movie helped expose the world to Miike’s work.
It’s hard to talk about Audition without giving away too much of the plot. A husband and father Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has his wife pass away while his son is still very young. Aoyama doesn’t remarry and works hard and raises his son himself. Seven years later his son is 17 and wants his father to remarry. Aoyama doesn’t know where to begin. While having drinks with a film producer friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), Yoshikawa suggests that they hold an audition for a wife.
They would use a screenplay and pretend that they are casting for the lead role and then Aoyama can screen for his version of a perfect wife. While going through all the candidates Aoyama discovers the simple resume of Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina) and he begins to become enthralled with her.
After the audition Yoshikawa says that there is something off about Asami and he checked into her background and one her references has been missing for a year. Yoshikawa suggests that Aoyama take it slow and not to contact Asami. Aoyama has already contacted Asami and has begin seeing her on dates. He plans on taking her a weekend getaway where he will propose to her.
And that’s as far as I’ll go for descriptions. The film works excellently because for the first hour it’s a drama about a man trying to find a wife, Aoyama isn’t necessarily a bad person. He feels guilty about the deception used to find himself a wife and he still loves his late wife. But he still uses deception. Meanwhile Asami, well…., hmmmm, well what is in the big sack?
Miike shot the movie in three weeks and for a person who makes quick fast lower budget movies he knows how to craft a film. He knows how to slowly build tension, use pacing and to craft absolute terror. The movie is excellent and is still one of his best movies. My original write up is here.