“Audition” is a film that is difficult to watch for various reasons, not just the horrific climax. I did not mention in my earlier post, but the female protagonist has a back story that explains her motives, which of course is of an abusive nature. We the audience are encouraged to have some sympathy for her. However, because of the nature of the film, I don’t think we can sympathise with her – her revenge is extreme, and generic – against men in general – not those who wronged her.
“Freeze Me” is also difficult to watch. It is the story of a young woman, Chihiro, who was raped by three men 5 years ago. She told no-one about this, and ran off to start her life again in the city. As we meet her, she seems happy – she has friends, a job, a boyfriend. Then it all come crashing down around her when one-by-one her rapists return to haunt her.
The male characters are suitably generic and stereotypical – which I think is the point. The first guy is a young man (living off his inheritance, all face value). The second is a “Salaryman“. The third a “Yakuza“. They all have their reasons for wanting Chihiro – and in some ways ignorant of what they are doing. Chihiro herself is very submissive – she fights back as much as she can, but their return breaks her and her spirit.
Until of course she accidentally kills her first attacker.
And proceeds to keep the body in a freezer.
She then gets stronger and stronger – taking out the next two men in an ever more aggressive and violent fashion. But bizarrely, she starts a relationship with the frozen bodies, enjoying their company, talking to them.
Whilst this is happening, her boyfriend thinks she is cheating on him, and when she tells him of her rape, he leaves her. Frankly, the boyfriend is a bit of a twat. Near the end of the movie he returns, and makes it up with Chihiro in such an insensitive way, I cannot believe she did not kill him there and then.
Oh she does 10 minutes later…but for different reasons.
So yes the film is interesting. It is not without art – there are some interesting things going on – the use of flashbacks via a video is clever, and the scenes with the Freezers are also very enjoyable – in fact maybe the problem is that these are few and far between. I would like to have seen this explored a little more.
You see – the film is obsessed with Harumi Inoue’s breasts. Not 10 minutes goes by without her needing a shower, or be chased around naked. To be fair, the rape scenes are quite tastefully done, and not exploitative – but the rest of the movie is. And I KNOW exploitation is a genre, and that I should accept that as a trapping of said genre. But to me, it just goes a little too far. Don’t get me wrong, they are very nice breasts, but maybe we see them too much.
Did I really write that last sentence?