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2LDK - TLA Releasing Print E-mail
User Rating: / 9
Written by Ed Fir   
Monday, 09 August 2004

Directed by: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Written by: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Produced by: Yuuji Ishida, Kazuki Manabe, Susumu Nakazawa
Edited by: Nobuyuki Ito
Cast: Maho Nonami, Daisuke Kizaki, Eiko Koike
Year: 2002
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (English Subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 70 Minutes

Video: NTSC R1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Japanese
Distributor: TLA Releasing

Bitch slapping, sword wielding, chainsaw brandishing, electrocutioner career girls, what more could you want?

I have been wondering how long it will take for other types of Asian movies to hit DVD stores.  We all know that Asian horror films have made quite an impact in the horror genre (even to the extent of having American heroes such as Sam Raimi try to copy their style), but surely there is more to Asia than gangster, martial arts, and ghost flicks, right?

2LDK is a step away from pure horror, although it does have a couple of moments that might well make you wince.  Most of all though, well if you’re anything like me, it’ll have you howling with laughter.  It tells a very simple story, mostly relying on the audience’s ability to appreciate that sometimes we are very driven to get what we want, even to the extent that we’re willing to sacrifice our normal modes of behavior. 

Essentially we have two girls, living together, who are both up for the same lead role in a movie.  Over the running time of the film, a lean mean 70 minutes, we see their competitiveness get the better of them – all the way to a pythonesque climax that gave this reviewer several laugh-out-loud moments.  At the end of the day, this film (more like an extended vignette really) serves up a plot that revels in the mental and physical deterioration of two young women trying to succeed in the cutthroat work of acting, by competing with each other. 

So why did I find this film so entertaining?  Well, I really enjoyed the bad natured humor mostly (do we seriously still call it “black humor”?).  Watching these two girls escalate their frustrations is a joy to behold.  The violence in the film, which might disappoint those of you who are horror buffs and want realistic gore, is in more of a cartoon nature.  Having said that, it’s not that you won’t sometimes be knocked back in your seat by what you’re seeing.  After all, we have chainsaw attacks, twitching bodies in bathtubs, and sword fights.  However, no matter how deadly things become, somehow you never take it too seriously.  Yes, this is an Asian film that’s not offering up hard hitting visceral violence, but rather leads us into the realm of the physical comedy – and what’s wrong with that?

The climax brought back memories of sitting in a living room in the United Kingdom, viewing a repeat screening of a Python episode.  The line, “Anyone for tennis?” came to mind as the girls had their final standoff, and that mental connection really brought together the various elements of this movie for me.  At its heart it’s a farce.  Sure the girls are mean, but not in a mean way, you know?  Anything goes here, and the characters become puppets moving around the sparse stage (the film is set exclusively in an apartment, with no exteriors). 

Shot over 8 days, as part of a “duel project” (two directors deciding that each would make their own dueling film), and with only two characters throughout the piece, this is clearly low-budget guerilla filmmaking.  It’s none the worse for that.  Okay, so perhaps it plays like a slightly over-the-top TV movie – what do you expect from such a film? 

I am going to recommend 2LDK to people who want to branch out a bit.  Asian cinema has a lot to offer us, but we seem stuck watching a steady stream of ghost stories with the same plot recycled over again.  2LDK gives us something with enough outrageousness that we can stay interested, but at the same time provides some good laughs.  That’s a unique combination.  Actually, thinking about it, I can’t actually remember the last mainstream comedy that was actually funny – so mark that as a benefit of this film too.  Recommended.


1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 2.0 – Japanese
English - Subtitles


- 4 Trailers
- Making-of
- Press Footage

The DVD from TLA Releasing ( is anamorphic widescreen. To be honest, it’s quite soft. Bonus features include a set of four trailers, a making-of which is close to 20 minutes, and footage from a press conference that clocks almost 25 minutes. Not a bad round up for such a film.

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