What’s that, you say? You want to see a really, really weird movie? Let me recommend Audition, in which an aging Japanese widower mocks up a TV show in order to get girls in to audition for one of the parts, when in reality they are auditioning to be his new girlfriend. And… well, the thing is, anything beyond the premise is a spoiler, including honestly the ways in which I have categorized the type of movie. But on the other hand, I’m pretty sure we both know you aren’t gonna go see this, so I am obligated to make this a conversation by elaborating. If you are in fact planning to see it, therefore, please disregard anything below this paragraph. (Oh, and my short answer is that it is worth seeing, I’m not trying to trick you over here.)

So, there are a number of open debate topics around the way the movie played out. First, there’s the widower guy. His whole plan sounds really damn creepy in a one-line sentence, no denying. And he is clearly entrenched in what is apparently Japan’s paternalistic relationship culture. But I couldn’t bring myself to look too unfavorably upon him, because despite his wealthy-version-of-a-stalker means, his heart really did seem to be in the right place. So I wonder if I’m taking that all wrong[1], and one of the points of the movie is that he did in fact deserve… well, okay, that’s too much spoiler even for me.

And then there’s our star auditioner, about whom… well, she is in fact my biggest open question. The only solid hints of her history we get seem to be from the perspective of someone else’s hallucination, so she is by and large a complete cipher to me. Does she believe herself wronged by, well, various people? Has she been extensively wronged in the recent and/or distant past? Is she simply insane? Is it a hefty combination of all of the above? Perhaps it’s okay that I don’t know, and perhaps, as per my footnote below, she plays a role instead of a character. I hope not, as it’s the same trap that her role is being used to punish, if so; just a different angle on it.

Anyway… by and large, the thought exercise presented here was better than the movie itself. Probably this is because it bucked my expectations via its near glacial pacing, and for no other reason directly related to the plotting or acting. But even if I’m objectively right, I will never call a movie that put this much contemplation into my brain anything less than good.

[1] For one thing, I started to say that there’s no counter-example in the film of someone interacting with the opposite sex on more equal footing[2], but then I remembered that his son seems to do fine. And while I will be the first to take notice of how meeting people only gets harder as time passes, there are still reasons to believe his counter-example is central to the themes of the film.
[2] Heh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.