Audition (1999)

It’s probably unfair to lump this movie into the “torture porn” genre of films – the torture is confined to a few minutes at the end.  But some people will be pretty badly unnerved if they go in unawares, so there it is.  That said, this is definitely the most intelligent film the genre has produced in recent years.

Audition starts off as romantic tale of a man looking for a new bride after spending too many years as a widower.  Convinced he has found the woman that he was meant to be with, he blindly fumbles his way into a relationship even after his friend (and the viewer) starts to warn him that all may not be as it seems to him through his rose-colored glasses.

The back-and-forth dream sequences and flashbacks toward the end were a little confusing and largely unnecessary, but overall the film was very good.  It may take a long time to get where it’s going, but there are enough subtle twists in the road to keep it from being dull.  It felt, to me, like that awkward stage at the beginning of a relationship when you’re trying to get to know each other and for that, both the director and cast are to be commended.  Overall, a good film.  The ending wasn’t nearly as shocking as people make it out to be – it just seemed that way because it contrasted so starkly with the rest of the film.  If you’re going in looking for the next Saw movie, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.  If you’re looking for a twisted tale of love and pain, though, it’s worth checking out.

Stars: 4/5


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