Audition Crazy Movie Unpacked and Explained

Audition Crazy Movie Unpacked and Explained
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The Audition Crazy Movie Explained. Over on the Patreon Discord chat channels, we have a list of movies that members can recommend I review. This one is a crazy one from Shelbzilla. I think she originally mentioned it a few months ago, and I’ve been slow on the uptick with this one. But this movie was worth the wait (22 years?!? hahaha.) Audition is a really violent movie, that I’m not recommending generally. It might just be a little too much all the way around the horn. But I had a fun time with it all the same. You will need to decide for yourself if you can watch this one. Don’t come find me and tell me I ruined you because I told you to watch this one. Want to read more about the Audition? I personally loved this Nerdist review of Audition at the 20-year mark.

The Audition 1999 Movie Quick Walkthrough

Shigeharu Aoyama’s wife, dies at the opening of the movie, and quickly jumping forward, his son, Shigehiko tells his father that he really needs to find a new wife. With the help of a friend, Yoshikawa – a film producer, they concocts a plan to have him audition women for the part of marrying Aoyama. Right off the bat, Aoyama is smitten by Asami Yamazaki… a fairly deep and emotional young woman. (Just says creepy-in-the-extreme to me… or worse, the begging of a porn flick? But okay, you do you boo.)

Weirdly, our producer friend can’t find any of Yamazaki’s references. But references? Damn the torpedoes man! This is is Yamazaki we are talking about here. After some craziness (an empty apartment at Asami’s place minus a phone and a bag? Burn scars. Aoyama’s requiring Asami to vow her undying love to him? This movie is going nowhere good, and really fast) the two make love. In the morning though, Asami is AWOL. Gone. Poof. And when Aoyama attempts to find her via her references and resume? No dice… because duh. Aoyama is on the case though, but all he finds are a trail of a lot of extra body parts. Fingers. Ears. A tongue?? Flash back to her apartment, and we learn that what was in the bag decoration in her apartment was a man missing his feet, a tongue, an ear, and three fingers on one hand. If this guy isn’t part of a organ donor program, I really don’t know what is going on here. Oh. ohhhh noo… hungry? The man begs for food, and Asami throws up in a dish and gives it to him?!?!? BLERGGGH!!!

As Aoyama tries to reach her by visiting several places associated with Asami, he learns troubling details about her. At this point, we also see Asami visiting Aoyama’s home, becoming enraged seeing a picture of him with his late wife, and moving towards his drink decanter. Eventually, Aoyama gets back home, drinks from the decanter which was laced with chemicals, and loses consciousness. Aoyama collapses. It turns out to be a paralytic that leaves him alert, but immobile. And Asami commenced in sticking him with needles, torturing the man. Why though? Why is she torturing him? Why? Because she alleges that even though he had promised to only love her, like everyone else in her life, he has failed to love only her. And she won’t suffer it… so she jabs needles beneath his eyes. Then she hacks off his left foot with a hack saw. As she’s cutting off his right foot, Aoyama’s son, Shigehiko, returns home. Asami sprays him. But apparently, it was all a dream… Shigehiko and Asami had just had sex and he’s awake, and his missing feet was solely a nightmare. So what does one do in a post nightmare haze? You propose to the subject of said nightmarish haze. And Asami? She accepts. But soon after, he returns to find his son in a fight with Asami who is macing him. And in retaliation, Shigehiko kicks her… sending her bounding down the stairs. Breaking her neck. Killing her. Immediately after, Aoyama tells his son to get the police while he sits and stares at his dying fiancé. And as she dies, she repeats one of the first things he ever said to him… that she was excited to see him again.

Audition Movie Autopsy

Shelbzilla – thanks for pointing us to this crazy movie. It would seem, at first, that Audition is a love story. A fantastical, blissful romantic thing. Sure, it’s a weird opener to finding a lover. But it bumped it’s way towards a blissful romantic bliss. Soon enough though, the curtain lifts and we learn the tragic darkness of Asami’s past. Perfectly juxtaposed… the bliss of love, and the darkness of an evil past. Obviously her past was complete with violence and torture. And suddenly, with just a couple scenes, the director, Miike reveals that something else, something completely other is happening here. You see? Audition is all about appearances, and the truth looking just beneath the surface. It’s about how it’s truly impossible to accurately gauge those that we see and bump up against day in and day out.

I mean, think of it… a love story framed as a horror story. Love’s turtle doves takes flight and then are gutted? Why? What is the point. Worse, not only do they not get married, but Asami ends up dead. Or does she? Throughout the film’s running time, there are a number of moments that physically happen, only to be taken back by the audience’s learning that the movie was actually a nightmare. Specifically, the key nightmare scene where Asami tortures Aoyama, only to have him wake from the dream and propose to her that very next day. Similarly, as the movie ends, we get pretty solid hints that most of the action in the movie doesn’t happen at all. Miike tosses the audience an extraordinarily confusing flashback scene that basically guarantees that none of this has happened at all. Poof.

The literal progression goes something like this:
1) Flashbacks to Aoyama’s telling Asami about the audition’s true purpose
2) Aoyama’s being tortured – feet cut off
3) Cut to Asami and Aoyama waking in bed – and Asami telling him how lucky she is
4) Cut back to Asami going after Aoyama’s son Shigehiko, and Aoyama injured on the floor
5) Shigehiko pushing Asami down the stairs, and her dying
6) Shigehiko calling the police
7) Asami in her studio putting on her ballet shoes

“You only realize who you are by going through pain and suffering. Only when you feel pain can you know the shape of your heart.”

It’s almost as if you have two completely different movies here. You have the sad but bearable movie about Aoyama, and his son Shigehiko attempting to live through the loss of Shigehiko’s mother’s death. They have moved on, and they spend the days fishing together, and looking out for one another. The second movie is where Asami enters the picture, and completely upends the story but requiring he only love her, and no one else. It tells of imbalance and unrealistic, heck, unhealthy restraints on love.

Thoughts on Audition

The violence was way too much. So much so that it became a comic book trope almost. It took a very true idea – that we only really know what we are, or capable of, when touched by pain, and made it into a horrible idea. It took the maxim to the extreme – so much so that it broke the idea completely. Is it true that my real mettle is tested under fire? Certainly. Can we only know my true self when tortured?? hahaha. The real tragedy here was the rather sweet relationship between Aoyama and Shigehiko. He wants the best for his father, but when the idea of finding love gets perverted into the audition, everything goes pear-shaped.

We literally cannot know what actually happened over the course of this film. Was Aoyama tortured? Maybe? Was there even a woman that joins them named Asami? Possibly? Did the movie end with her death, and Aoyama’s dismemberment? Could be. What do I think happened? Personally, I think that the movie is a conversation about grief, and trying to move on when you really don’t want to. It’s about respecting our loved ones and not replacing them with cheap xerox copies of some sort of ideal. Did you notice how un-realistic Asami’s beauty was. (She actually hadn’t done movies prior to this one, she was a model.) She was almost like a ghost in the way she was shot, and the lighting thrown her way. She comes, she goes, disappears completely… she can’t be found via her resume. He’s thrashing this way and that as he tries to hold on to this illusive mist of an idea of a woman. And when he does grab her, she horrifyingly disfigures him and tortures him. Personally, this sounds like Asami is more of a siren than a real woman. You know, the mythical women that call sailors to crash their boats on the rocks? She feels more myth than real. So what would that mean? It means that the movie is more of a allegorical tale of warning than anything else. It’s a flashing red light to warn the viewer to avoid leaving our loved ones and abandoning them for some larger than life possibility. That, in fact, if you make this mistake, you’ll not only be harming yourself, but those you love most in this world. And all for a lie.

Hoping for other movies like this one? Personally, it reminded me of the movie Maus or Oldboy (because, of course, it did.) Or if you liked the way in which things were not as they seemed? Try checking out The Spinning Man.

Edited by: CY