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2LDK - Movie Poster
Original Title:

Japan 2002

Comedy, Thriller

Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Maho Nonami
Eiko Koike

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Story: Nozomi (Eiko Koike) shares an apartment with Lana (Maho Nonami). Although both of them want to become actresses they can't stand each other. Luckily they can hide their feelings for each other behind a mask of politeness.
One day they have an audition for the same movie-role, that could finally become their chance to hit it big. But only one of the two will make it. Waiting for the next day to hear the decision from the producers becomes a pain, and slowly the faked politeness begins to fade away. Since the two also love the same man their deep hatred manifests in scolding. But as this doesn't seem to be enough anymore the first objects are thrown. Soon a death-feud takes place in this nice little apartment...

Review: "2LDK" is Yukihiko Tsutsumi's contribution to the "Duel"-project. With this project Tsutsumi and Ryuhei Kitamura challenged each other to make a movie in just 7 days with only 2 main protagonists taking place in just one location and being about two individuals that battle each other. In contrast to Kitamura's work "Aragami" "2LDK" is less a martial-arts-orientated movie but instead delivers a lot of black humour and two great actresses.

2LDK - Film Screenshot 11

"2LDK" means 2 bedrooms, living-room, dining-room and kitchen. That's also the location the whole movie takes place in. When the the two main characters are introduced it's pretty clear that they couldn't be much more different. Nozomi has a morbid sense for order and rules (especially for house rules), doesn't care much for men and prefers theatre over cinema. Lana on the opposite has a rich family, is very extroverted and enjoys showing her good looks.

Even in the first minutes we can feel the strong tension between these two women and the subtle black humour which is present all throughout is also already apparent. This humor is achieved, among other things, through frequent monologues of the protagonists that give us an insight in their real thoughts and reveal their spoken words to be just polite talk. In fact, at almost all times they mean the exact opposite of what they are saying.
With time we also learn something about the past of the two women, their peculiarities are revealed and we are just waiting for the moment the masquerade ends and the two fight each other like the furies they are. Since we already know from the beginning that this has to happen! Right here lies the strength of Tsutsumi's work. He manages to blur the line that the two women cross. The exact point of time when the quarrel escalates can not be made out, which makes the movie quite credible.

2LDK - Film Screenshot 12

The two actresses give the movie its special flair and bestow a great amount of credibiliy on their characters that never gets questioned by the viewer despite their eccentrical nature. Even the smallest tics are impressively represented. The chemistry between the two is just perfect at every time, or more likely, it's just as gruesome as it needs to be! Eiko Koike shows that she is not only a pretty model, but also has a future as an actress. I was surprised how relatively bad she looked in the movie. Sure, she still looks beautiful, but it shows that she really became one with her role as a wallflower - also physically.
Maho Nonami is more of an unknown face, but she leaves no doubt that we will surely see more of her in the future.

2LDK - Film Screenshot 13

Absolutely stunning is Tsutsumi's directing, because you wouldn't even think for a second that this 70-minutes movie was in fact shot in just one week. The tension of the movie rises with every minute and ends in a climax in which the two women fight each other with a whole bunch of household appliances, Katanas and even a chain saw, with which they tear apart their apartment. An epic battle between two actually fragile looking women takes place that is painfully brutal and is even painful just to look at.
The outcome of this war is a nice surprise and delivered with another great portion of black humor, which made us smile the whole time anyway. And this despite the actual seriousness of the situation.

So, who did win this "Duel"-project I hear you ask. Ryuhei Kitamura with "Aragami" or Yukihiko Tsutsumi with "2LDK"? For me it's obviously a draw and if you think about it, it's a pretty unnecessary question. Who cares, as long as the audience profits und gets an original and entertaining movie to watch?!

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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