Audition

                                                             

 

                    She always gets a part

 

Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a middle-aged widower who lost his wife to an illness seven years prior, is urged by his 17-year-old son, Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki), to begin dating women again. Shigehiko is somewhat doubtful of his father's love life, but plans to move out when he finishes school and does not want his father to be alone. Aoyama's friend and colleague, Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), a film producer, devises a plan to hold a mock-audition, in which young, beautiful women would audition for the "part" of Aoyama's new wife, under the impression that they are auditioning for a new film, but actually so Aoyama can marry one of the finalist contestants.

Aoyama is immediately enchanted by Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), a 24-year-old woman with a soft voice and reserved, yet confident, mannerisms. In her audition, Asami says that she was once a ballerina headed for greatness, but had to give up dancing after an injury. Aoyama, still reeling from the death of his wife, is attracted to her apparent emotional depth. Yoshikawa warns him about Asami, saying that he has a bad feeling about her. None of the references on her rsum were able to be reached and her job history is shaky. The music producer she claimed to work for had gone missing. Unfortunately, Aoyama is so enthralled by her inner and outer beauty that he is blinded by his feelings for her.

She lives in an empty apartment, furnished only with a sack and a telephone. Four days following the audition, she sits perfectly still in the middle of the floor next to the telephone, waiting for it to ring. When it finally does, the sack lurches across the room and makes gurgling sounds. She ignores it as she waits a few rings before answering. When Asami answers the phone, she confesses to Aoyama that she never expected him to call. After several dates, she agrees to accompany him to a seaside hotel. Once at the hotel, Asami tells Aoyama about the abuse she suffered as a child and shows him the burn scars on her body. Asami asks Aoyama to love only her. Aoyama promises to do so and they make love.

The next morning, Aoyama is awakened by a telephone call; it is the front desk wondering if, since his companion left, he too would be checking out. He realizes Asami is nowhere to be found. Using her rsum, Aoyama searches in vain for her. Aoyama visits the old ballet studio where Asami claimed to have trained for 12 years. He finds that the studio is now inhabited only by a disabled old man in a wheelchair with artificial feet. It is revealed that the man caused the burn scars on Asami's legs. Then he goes to the bar where Asami used to work and someone tells him that it has been closed for a year because the woman who was in charge, the wife of a record producer, was found dismembered. When the police put her body back together, they found 3 extra fingers, an extra ear, and an extra tongue.

Asami goes to Aoyama's house during his search. Once there, she finds a photo of his dead wife. Enraged, she slips a sedative in his drink and hides. Aoyama comes home, has a drink and faints. The movie cuts to a sequence about Asami's past and present. In one scene, The contents of the sack are revealed to be a man missing both feet, his tongue, one ear and three fingers on one hand. He crawls out of the sack and begs for food. Asami vomits into a dog dish and places it on the floor for the man. The man sticks his face in the bowl of vomit, and hungrily consumes it.

A while later, Asami returns to the drugged and paralyzed Aoyama. As she walks into the room, the audience sees the twisted body of Aoyama's pet dog. She proceeds to inject Aoyama with an agent that paralyzes his body, but keeps his nerves alert. She then tortures him with needles in his abdomen and under his eyes. As she is torturing him, she tells him he is just like everyone else in not being able to love only her. She talks about how he has love for his son (whom she plans to kill as well) and their dog, and how this is not acceptable, because then he will never be completely hers. Her torture of him, she explains, is to teach him the meaning of needing someone. She then cuts off his left foot with a wire saw.

While Asami begins to cut off his other foot, she is surprised by Aoyama's son returning home. She hides and prepares to attack Shigehiko. Shigehiko discovers his father on the floor, turns, and is surprised by Asami. Asami fails to disable Aoyama's son. In defense, he kicks her down a flight of stairs, breaking her neck. Aoyama tells his son to call the police.

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Directed by Takashi Miike
Produced by Satoshi Fukushima
Written by Ryu Murakami (Novel)
Daisuke Tengan
Starring Ryo Ishibashi
Eihi Shiina
Music by Kji End
Distributed by Vitagraph Films
Release date(s) October 6, 1999
Running time 115 min.
Language Japanese
Budget  

        

 

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