Spoilers Odishon (1999)

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by plsletitrain, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    The movie has so many strong points that as to whether this will make my top whatever list is a no-brainer. This is MY type of movie: a light romantic start that will blind and mislead you on the graphic stomach-crushing ending and a plot twist that will break your head trying to figure out if things fell into place. I like how I was tricked because I slammed the scene (at the hotel room) where the guy was looking for places to go when they should have banged each other the moment they closed that door but I love how it was made as a central/pivotal point. You know what I’m talking about. Its at this scene where we are confronted with whether we are tricked into another plot twist, or whether it is what it seems.

    A widower finds for a new love through a screening process which was actually for a movie but he took the opportunity to find his new love there. His attention was caught by a mysterious applicant who at first glance seems so fragile but has her own story to tell. Widower befriends her and started to get to know her more. He finds out about her dark past and how this molded her present persona. He is presented into an alternative world where his woman isn’t all what she seems to be. Or is she?

    I would’ve wanted to put an end on the question if it was all really just a dream. I’ve read a couple of reviews stating it was a dream. So if it was indeed a dream, everything that happened after he awoke (at the bed, with his body parts complete) was all again just part of the dream? Those parts where the son arrived at home and rescue was on the way? Either way, I think all of us can agree that although it was a bit hanging on that part, we need not figure out the exact answer. As we usually do, let’s leave it at that. (So was it really a dream??? Kidding).

    The ending is too graphic that I may be a fan of these violent graphic movies but this one is on another level. The way the woman joyfully did her torture and body dismemberment (is there a word?), with her haunting "Kirikirikiri" chant, the sound effects that make it seem so real you feel like you’re feeling the pain—oh help me and my stomach!

    Overall I think this is a top-notch, timeless film.
     
    #1 plsletitrain, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  2. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    I just watched. It struck me as very Twin Peaks this time. I'm not sure what your angle on the hotel room scene is. I guess I didn't see the movie as having any real plot twists. It just goes off the rails. That ending is still painful. The first half isn't terribly good but it had to be there. The foreshadowing 2nd act, yo. The first shot of her bent smile when the phone rings: Priceless. Miike starts painting in the third act. That's the only way to describe it. Maybe he tries a few too many layers of frosting on the cake, trying to force us to give up, to give up trying to follow it. Words, and unnecessary scenes, create lies. Twin Peaks. It's all nonsense, plus a demure young woman enjoying unimaginable cruelty. It doesn't make sense. Pretty cool.

    I need to watch some volleyball to get my brain back.
     
  3. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Okay, I’ll throw up my thoughts on Audition

    When I originally watched this almost 15 years ago, I thought of it as some kind of militant feminist version of the Pygmalion mythology. This time around, I don’t think my earlier interpretation really does stack up, although I still think there are some undoubtable parallels, particularly with the original version of George Bernard Shaw’s play.

    The other thing that struck me this time around was just how much resonance the first half of the film would have, if it was being released for the first time today, with Harvey Weinstein and the whole #metoo movement. It would be impossible at the moment to make something out of that whole fake-casting-call-to-meet-beautiful-women scenario and try to ignore that as a reference point, and the connection would be amplified with Asami’s accusation that Shigeharu had conducted the audition as a way to have sex with her, and the suggestion that Asami’s agent had slept with her.

    However, Miike does a really great balancing act at making his protagonist likeable and benign, despite this undercurrent of creepiness in the character’s outlooks and actions. Here’s a guy who’s criteria for a wife is someone who is just a little too old to be his daughter, who is talented enough to have a hobby but not a career, who will be demure, obedient, subservient. Finding a wife to him is like catching a fish or buying a car – the thought that his prospective spouse might want a say in the outcome doesn’t seem to cross his mind. And he’s happily imbuing these values into his 14 year old son. Yet somehow he doesn’t come across as a dirty old man, but rather as someone deserving of our sympathy, someone who is essentially well meaning, even if he has difficulty connecting with people and tends to somewhat delude himself.

    Of course, things don’t go plan for Shigeharu, and it turns out that the object of his affection is not content to be the subserviently meek and mild recipient of his benevolence, and in that sense the narrative does follow Shaw’s Pygmalion. But what I didn’t really recall from the first time around was just how possessive Asami is. Her acts of violence aren’t driven by the desire to assert herself as an individual in control of her own destiny, but by the desire to own and control the men she loved – she had killed her agent’s lover, and no doubt would have killed Shigeharu’s son, too, so that her men would have her and her alone in their lives. In that sense, her possessive desires actually mirrored those of Shigeharu.

    As for the question of whether any or all of the film is a dream, it never occurred to me that that might be the case (apart from the portions that seemed to explicitly be dreams or imaginings). I thought virtually everything in the film had played as a straight and literal narrative, up to the second time that they went out to dinner. In that sequence, when Shigeharu is asking Asami about her family, Miike inserts several very slight jump cuts in the video, while maintaining continuity in the audio. From there, the restaurant setting changes a couple of times without a break in the conversation.

    It makes no sense at the time, until Shigeharu collapses in his house after drinking the whiskey – his mind immediately goes back to that conversation, but this time around, he’s not editing out the parts he previously didn’t want to hear so that his image of Asami could be kept within his ideal. Earlier, we had seen Shigeharu's sanitised and filtered version of reality, but now we are privy to his recalling all the horrible details of her past that he had been told, but had put to one side in his brain. And then, in his state of paralysis, his mind wanders over a whole bunch of other things in the back of his mind that he had become adept at avoiding, things he was ashamed of (e.g. had he taken advantage of one of his employees at some stage?), and he started making connections about things had been told or learned about Asami, joining dots, maybe imagining some things to fill in the gaps.

    On my reading of it, the second hotel scene was nothing more that Shigeharu’s thoughts being presented on the screen – he was struggling to move, and he started to think back on what he had done, but this time it was with a degree of horror at just how delusional he was to think that Asami, or, for that matter, anyone, would actually acquiesce to being the heroine in the cheesy romance he created in his mind.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.
     
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  4. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    You are absolutely right that if the film came out today it would be difficult to not see it as a commentary of some sort on Weenerstein, etc. And that highlights the fact that our experience of art in general, life itself, and in this particular instance, a film, is very dependent on what we bring to it.

    Over the years on these boards here and there I have commented/wondered about how different it is to go back and watch a director's filmography than it is to experience it in real time. Once you've seen all of (for example) Koreeda's back catalog it's a new world to anticipate his next new one that nobody has talked about yet, but I digress ...

    Full disclosure: I swear to gosh that when I was watching this film, and pre-registering what I was going to say about it, I was thinking Kim ki-duk made the film. So my notion of Kim as a painter before film maker, and that Kim isn't so good at story, dialog, etc., that he doesn't really develop characters as much as have them act out archetypal behaviors, shaped my experience of what happened in Act III. I felt Miike/Kim had finally moved into his comfort zone where he could simply point to things, imply significance, without caring if every plot point and every shot existed as a clue to unraveling and explaining the story: The foggy tension with his subordinate at work comes back in the BJ moment. His housekeeper here and there, etc. Those kind of things prompted my bad metaphor of too much icing on the cake. The one that really felt like too much was the quick shot of the agent masturbating to things.

    Speaking of the agent, I didn't like his role. It felt like button pushing more than anything else. He's definitely part of the story but the way it was played felt like bad eating-acting as character development. And very Twin Peaks.

    Back to the film. Was it a dream, or were parts of it a dream? I think Miike clearly stated (parts of) it were a dream. And then yanked that rug out from under us. But I don't think he was playing around, or being deficient in execution. I felt he molded the experience to a point where it didn't matter--his comfort zone. Just point at things. And it might have been frustratingly gnarly when the film seems to come back to real life, real reality (when the son comes home), if Asami hadn't reiterated herself while lying there dead at the foot of the stairs. That's poetry.

    Speaking of Asami: Eihi Shiina was born to play that role. My gosh. There were a couple moments where she was a little too squeaky Tweety bird but overall, whoa. The way she handled that wire! Her face when she's inserting needles. Also poetry.

    Speaking of Shigeharu: What a boofy bourgeois dude. Too many long take closeups of his face, but I get why they were there. @clayton-12 described him/his situation wonderfully. His strange bits of acting are what I enjoyed. His reacting to all the goings-on near the end while at Asami's apartment--his hand over his mouth gasping, and the same when he was at the bottom of the stairs of Asami's bar and saw the tongues, fingers, and ears on the floor. At that point we are no longer in reality and that's when I enjoyed the film the most.

    It's (too) easy to see the film as commentary on this or that because it touches on themes as old as time. They are all there, but I choose to reduce it to a setup of normalcy that goes to hell (also a theme as old as time). Psychologists often talk about the strongest emotions, the biggest feels, are those that exist beyond the moment in time and bring with them the feeling of things flipping on their heads. Distance. Movement. Surprise. I think Miike executed that perfectly.
     
  5. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Guyz I'll be back tomorrow to comment longer because I'll go looking for my brain which has been missing for years now. I thought of declaring this thread closed because @clayton-12's 2 cents is worth 2 million cents. Haha! Uwian na, May nanalo na (In English: Its time to go home. Someone won already. A Filipino expression being used to refer in beauty pageants when after hearing the candidate who gave the best answer and the audience will jokingly say it's time to go home, no need to await the announcement of the winners because they clearly know who will win). biggrin.gif

    Interesting, @sitenoise, I didn't get the painting reference on your first post but thanks for enlightening that in reference to Kim Ki-duk.
     
  6. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Me too
     
  7. Daniel Larusso

    Daniel Larusso Member: Rank 3

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    I also re-watched it. One of Miike's best!
    Either it was a dream or real, I just love how it plays. How it conveys the character's feelings. And the finale is insane.

    [​IMG]
    Is this the most iconic scene in modern j-horror?

    It made me want to re-watch The Isle :)
     
  8. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    haha, me too. As I mentioned above I was a little confused about who was directing the film I was watching. Many similarities between the two directors and how well they go off the rails.

    Still curious how you make those little movie clips
     
  9. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Good observation. It never occurred to me though that it was a fake-casting-call-to-meet-beautiful-women scenario because all the while I thought it was a legitimate movie they were making and it was just coincidental that they were screening women. Now that I think about it.......................

    I like this. Miike really succeeded with that one because again I never thought of widower as a creepy old man but rather just another middle-aged guy who wants to take another shot at love.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but my interpretation of this is that your standing is that it wasn't a dream. That Asami was indeed the sinister darling that she was.

    My standing is that it was a dream. While too much of a cliche, this time around the "dream" successfully absorbed me, the viewer who was too engrossed with the narrative that I was misled by it all until the second hotel scene was shown. And maybe Miike was trying to play clever (which he succeeded because I gasped at the second hotel scene) and maybe he wanted to play cleverer (or he's toying with me) when he presented the ending.
    I think I get what you mean here, in the light of your unique views and perspectives on directing/acting.

    I thought he was very enjoyable. I don't know if he was asked to do to much or he was willing to do those exaggerated facial expressions for a check, but he was still effective.

    Dang, perfect and excellent commentary! Those are just what, 3 lines but it made me think of so many things.
     
  10. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    It never occurred to me that Asami was anything but real in every way.

    The way I saw it, the beginning of the film is a straight forward narrative, with everything on screen being a literal interpretation of events. That shifts slightly after the golf-ball scene, when Shigeharu half-heartedly promises his friend to take a break from obsessing about Asami (a promise he knows he won’t be able to keep) – after that, the narrative becomes slightly skewed, as we sometimes only see what Shigeharu wants to see and sometimes don’t see what Shigeharu sees but wants to ignore. The only two sequences that I thought were a “dream” were firstly when Shigeharu fell to the floor, and his thoughts and recollections were presented on screen in an increasingly jumbled montage (no doubt in the same way they were being played in his head at that particular moment of stress in his life) until Asami’s voice snapped his focus back to (painful) reality, and then secondly when the son came home, whereupon Shigeharu thought back to the hotel room and had a moment of clarity about his behaviour before again snapping back to reality.

    I’m not actually sure how any other interpretation would work. Are you thinking the whole audition process was a dream, or did the dream start somewhere in the middle, after he met Asami but before the notorious finale?
     
  11. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    My query is this: did all those puke-worthy torture happen for real or was it just a dream? Because remember Shigeharu awoke (on that second hotel scene) with his feet complete, so it meant that all those sinister acts occurred only in his dream. Thus, not real. Then the next sequence of events would lead us to that other world. Then the credits rolled.
     
  12. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    I believe the audition process is real. What's quite foggy and unsettled is Asami's identity.
     
  13. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    It's loose and spongy like a time travel movie, but when he wakes up in the hotel room alone, that's when the dream starts. He didn't really wake up in reality, he woke up in dream. So from that point it's all dream until they are back in the hotel room and wake up together. Then she puts her head on his chest, he dozes off again as she says "Kiri kiri kiri" which then leads to the ending where the son kills Asami. In Dream land
     
  14. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    This is where I think Miiki is brilliantly playing us. We see Asami in her apartment with the bagged dude, waiting for the phone to ring. This before they go to the hotel. This suggests that Asami is some kind of weirdo in real life. But who knows?

    This is kind of dark too see, but I think this is the best shot of the film. It's when Asami is waiting for the phone to ring with her head hanging down. The phone rings and it makes her smile - devilishly.

    Asami.png
     
  15. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Okay I got quite confused but I stick with my interpretation that Asami's creepy personality is a dream and the end part Miike was toying with me lol.


    Yes that was one disturbing scene (thank gad your sreenshot is dark). But it all happened before he awoke, so its all part of the dream.
     
  16. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    On that scene, I swear it took a few minutes before my brain got rinsed of that devilish grin.
     
  17. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    In hotel scene
    No, this happened before they went to the hotel, before anybody went to sleep.

    BTW - in hotel scene #2 as Asami moves to put her head on his chest she says: "It's like a dream. (I'm so happy. I'm the real life heroine)" So he dozes off to "Kiri kiri" ad finishes the dream.

    I'm not saying this is an accurate explanation but one that Miiki lets us have if we want it.
     
  18. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    My thinking is that the dream started even before they went to sleep, even before they went to the hotel. (Did they even sleep? I can't remember). I was thinking the dream started when Asami's creepiness was unveiled. Not necessarily when they started to sleep.

    Thanks! I think this makes sense.
     
  19. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Of course it happened for real (which is why, when I catch the train home from work, I avoid making eye-contact with any women. Better safe than sorry.)
    Either that, or he thought about how did he end up in the predicament he was in as he was lying there on the floor, and he played out in his mind how he had imagined that night would end, but this time realising just how frickin' absurd his lonely middle-aged man fantasy actually was - she's there saying how happy she is, but this time round he's looking at her as if to say "wtf ... this isn't reality".
    I don't think I buy this, certainly not without revisiting the scene. I don't recall even the slightest sense of relief from him at realising that it was all a dream - I thought that as she put her head on his chest, and told him about how happy she was that he had made her the heroine of his story, he was looking at her in horror, as if he knew that the nightmare was real, and being back in the hotel room was just a sick dream.
     
  20. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    That's possible. So ... The golf ball scene and his partner tells him to give it a rest, not call her for a while. Then we see him sitting at his desk, reading her resume, looking at the phone. Cut to Asami with the bagged dude, waiting for a phone call. But then cut to Shigeharu in bed sleeping, he rolls over and then a cut to his wife (I think) standing by a tree in the snow. So that could be when the dream starts and it could retroactively include that first shot of Asami, making her devil aside only be in a dream--Shigeharu's partner's suspicions notwithstanding.
     

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