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2LDK
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Starring:
Maho Nonami
Eiko Koike

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Two actresses sharing a 2LDK (2-bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen) are up for the same role in a major film. The night before the decision is made; jealousy and rage turn their relationship into a no holds barred battle to the death.
Is it good movie?

Part of the "Danger After Dark" Boxset

Living with a roommate can be a nightmare. I’m sure everyone has stories of living with that annoying person who has to label everything, snores incredibly loud or walks around naked. But imagine if those two roommates were both struggling actresses with a desire to be the best and who are up for the same role and like the same guy. Well, you don’t need to imagine this because director Yukihiko Tsutsumi already has. Part of an idea he had with fellow director Ryuhei Kitamura to each make their own film with 2 to 3 characters and one location (Kitarmura's was Aragami). For Tsutsumi’s part, he succeeded in making an entertaining black comedy about egos and the price that comes with them.

Nozomi and Lana, played wonderfully by Eiko Koike and Maho Nonami start off polite. They try and deal with each other but the audience is clued in to their real feelings through voiceover. When one character compliments the other there is always a snide comment that is left unsaid. As the two begin to open up about what is bugging them and their own insecurities they begin to get nasty. And boy do they get nasty. The last half of this film feels a little like Kill Bill with swords, chainsaws and a little stain remover. This is not a gory film and even with the hell these two put each other through they don’t seem to get quite as f*cked up as you would think. But that is a minor complaint. This flick didn’t need the gore; it was dark, demented and pretty damn funny.

Shot on a single location, Mr. Tsutsumi (who also wrote the script) knows how to keep the pace moving by keeping his camera moving in unique ways. Between the static shots, the close ups and the unnerving roaming camera I was involved. The conversations, although the subtitles are probably not always spot on, felt genuine. If you know any actors you will probably recognize these two women. Which brings me to what really kept me invested; the two actresses both had charisma to spare, but they also made their transition very believable. Yes, there were moments that I couldn’t believe the shite they were doing, but I was always able to accept it. Actors can be desperate people, especially when it involves that “career making” role.

Video / Audio
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen looked pretty good when the claws were scratching.

Audio: Yep, the claws sounded great in this cat fight with Dolby Surround.
The Extras
The extras here are not bad; although I would have liked to have had a commentary from the actors and the director but hey, no such luck. What we do get is…

The Original Trailer (:44) without subtitles. Not a bad trailer but I think they could have gone a little farther with this. Next we have The Making of 2LDK (18:11) which is a very nice behind the scenes look at the hellish eight days that it took to make this flick. Both Maho and Eiko had the flu during the shoot and were working with over one-hundred degree temperature. I dug the way this was presented and even the cheesy announcer guy seemed to work. This is a terrific watch.

Then there is Special Footage of the Duel Project Press Conference (24:57) where you learn a little about how this “duel” started for each director. It is nice to see the two actresses outside of the film; both are very beautiful and luckily they don’t seem quite as insane as their characters. I also find it very interesting how many of these Japanese films have the press conference as an extra on the DVD. You rarely see that in American releases which might be a cool feature to add.

And last but not least we get a few TLA Releasing Trailers including the Danger After Dark Collector’s Box Set (1:18) which also includes the following two films which we also get separate trailers for; Suicide Club (1:37) and Moon Child (1:10). Looks like a nice set to own. And finally we get the trailer for Feed (1:19) which probably won’t make you hungry.
Last Call
If you liked Kill Bill but are not in the mood for something terribly serious, this movie is for you. At a lean seventy minutes 2LDK is a nicely paced and bitterly dark satire on our quest for success and the loneliness that comes with it. Writer/Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi keeps the story moving even when the dialogue is high, which is partly due to a couple of terrific performances from Maho Nonami and Eiko Koike. If you are ever having roommate problems, check this flick out and hope that your roomie ain’t a raving psychopath.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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