Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wanna Share the Rent? No Thanks, You Crazy Bitch - 2LDK (2003)

2LDK is short for an apartment with 2 bedrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen, and that’s exactly where the entirety of this film takes place. But before I get to the film itself, I think the reason it came to be is almost as interesting, and bears mentioning. The director, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, along with fellow Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura decided to make dueling films that adhered to a single rule: they must only involve two characters fighting in a single space for the duration of each film. Kitamura’s film was Aragami, and 2LDK was Tsutsumi’s contribution. This kind of competition is something I’ve never heard of before, and I think it’s a fun exercise that more filmmakers should take and run with. With 2LDK, Tsutsumi created a brisk (at 70 minutes) depiction of obsession and delusion, and a damn entertaining one at that.

The setup is extremely simple: Rana and Nozomi are both actresses who share an apartment together, and they happen to also both be up for the same leading role in an upcoming movie. From the beginning, it’s obvious the two girls are polar opposites – Rana is a neat-freak who comes from a well-educated background, while Nozomi is a former model-turned-actress who wears designer clothing and is generally pretty vain. I have no idea why they share an apartment together, other than the possibility that the production company they’re working for put them up for a discounted price. It’s irrelevant, really, because the film isn’t about how or why they got to where they are. Instead, it’s all about their personalities clashing to the point of total chaos. It starts out innocently enough, with Rana getting upset at Nozomi for using her shampoo and leaving hair in the bathtub. But if that was all that happened, this would be a pretty sucky movie, so that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Rana: anal-retentive cleanliness freak and rule-abiding whore.

Nozomi: big-mouthed, annoying bitch. Incidentally, they're both incredibly hot.

As I said, it’s a brisk look into the main characters’ lives, and at just over an hour, the film doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story: the fighting between Rana and Nozomi. They do some really fucked up shit to each other, and it’s at once hilarious and brutal. There’s a chainsaw, samurai swords, electrical appliances in water, a toilet tank, and many more instruments of death and destruction used to great effect by both girls. Honestly, there’s nothing more to say about 2LDK, so you'll have to excuse the shortness of this review. If you like seeing two people beat the living shit out of each other for about an hour, this is the film for you. Due to the nature of the film’s creation, that premise is the sole reason for its existence, and as such, delivers everything you could want from something like this, without all the distractions more complicated stories come with. Simply put, 2LDK is an awesome, bloody good time for the short while it lasts, and believe me, you could do way worse with 70 minutes of your time.

I saved most of the good bits for your own discovery, so don't worry, I'm not giving away a whole lot here:

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