Even knowing how everything pans out, fully aware of how Miike structured his film for maximum impact, this one still managed to impress a second time around. With Audition, Miike proves he can channel his crazy and deliver a meticulously paced film, building up to an amazing, extremely memorable finale. And when Eihi Shiina finally breaks out into gleeful bursts of kiri kiri, it's simply impossible to deny the quality put on display here.
One of the films that established Miike among the more serious film fans in the West. Audition is a film split in two distinct parts. A rather dim and lifeless first hour that lulls the audience asleep, setting them up for a crazier and more outrageous second half. It's a simple trick, but it sure is effective.
Aoyama is ready for a new relationship, seven years after his wife died. A friend invites him to a film audition to look for prospects. There he meets Asami, a young ballet dancer hoping to make it big. Aoyama is smitten by Asami and decides to ask her out on a date. Asami isn't as sweet as she looks though.
With every revision, the first hour gets a bit more tiresome to sit through, but at least the payoff of the second half makes a big difference. It's really not as crazy or over-the-top as some of Miike's other films, but the contrast does its job. Solid performances, some great horror scenes and a sprawling finale make this a worthy Miike.