Odishon = The Audition DVD
'Director: Takashi Miike', year 1999

(Japan Shock release)

Language: Jap with English subtitles

MARK: 85/100


Aoyama, widower with an adolescent son, dreams of a new learned woman. His old best friend Yoshikawa, an experienced film producer, organizes an audition for a female character, using resumes and pics to find the right woman for his friend. Aoyama remains bewitched by a cute 24-year-old girl, who tells him she had to renounce of her juvenile passion, classical dancing. Yet the mysterious girl doesn't convince Yoshikawa, who perceives something disquieting in her. But Aoyama is in love with her and decides to meet her after the job interview. Yoshikawa finds out a record company manager disappeared she cited during the job chat. Aoyama calls the girl again for a date, unaware the manager is in a sack next to her just when she's speaking to him. They meet in his sea villa and have sexual intercourse after he promises her to love her only and then she goes away, disappearing. Aoyama desperately looks for her in the next days, not listening to his friend's advice to forget her; this bring him to meet her perv stepfather who raped her and branded her leg, making her loonier than he is, and then talks to a neighbour of a restaurant she said she used to work for who tells him the owner always worked alone. The finalè rife with omens and dangerous situations also involving Asami, Aoyama's only child, adds a nightmare touch that turns the movie from a dramatic to a horror one with a lot of gory scenes, masterfully made indeed, mixing reality and dreams in an inextricable manner.
When it deals with this Japanese director, one can never know what to expect. I got a positive impression from "Ichi The Killer" or his more known "Tokyo Decadence", but I also knew Miike directed one of those boring blockbuster without thrills named "The Call", so I approached this movie, based on a novel by Ryu Murakami, with a bit of uncertainty. Nevertheless I received a confirmation that the first era of the Jap director is that much the one that gave him more critics' approval, while the second granted him popularity and wealth. Of course all cultors of art should invest their time in the early stuff, leaving the recent material to MTV pimply dullards, the way it often happens with bands if you allow me to draw a similar comparison.