2LDK (2003) is a Japanese action/thriller directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi as part of the Duel Project, which was a challenge issued by producer Shinya Kawai to directors Yukihiko Tsutsumi and Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus). The challenge was to make a feature-length film in one week with only two actors battling in one location. Kitamura‘s film is Aragami, in which two samurai fight to the death. Now, as much as I love Ryuhei Kitamura, 2LDK is the better film.
“2LDK”, by the way, is a Japanese real estate acronym for a 2-bedroom apartment with a Living-room, Dining-room, and Kitchen. Anyway …
Nozomi (Eiko Koike) and Lana (Maho Nonami) are two aspiring actresses who share a Tokyo apartment owned by their agency, but, they hate each other. Nozomi is a naive, small-town girl who came to Tokyo to become an actress; while Lana is a jaded big city girl and an experienced B-movie actress, who once slept with her director which resulted in disastrous consequences. The girls learn they are competing for the same role in a movie called Yakuza Wives. Soon, their bickering becomes increasingly violent as the two begin to fight and, eventually, try to kill each other with toilet bowl covers, trophies, a small chainsaw, katanas, and by drowning, and even electrocution. In the end, they stand face to face, knives held at each others’ throats. They push the blades in, quickly retracting them, and, as blood sprays, they both fall to the floor, dead. The phone rings, and the movie’s producer leaves a message telling the girls that the director’s rewriting the script so that they both can be cast. 2LDK is dark, twisted fun!
Watch the trailer (without English subtitles) here:
The lovely song that plays in the trailer, and, over the closing credits of the film, is called “Rinjin ni Hikari ga Sasu Toki“ (translation: “When Someone Next to You Shines A Light”) by Ando Yuko, a pop/rock singer/songwriter, former actress and friend of the movie’s director, who has since released five albums.
Karaoke Terror (2003), directed by Tetsuo Shinohara, is a similar Japanese movie, released a month after 2LDK, in which a gang of karaoke-loving teens and a group of karaoke-loving middle-aged women face off against each other with increasingly more violent acts of vengeance. It’s worth watching, too.
Currently, a movie called The Wright Girls is in production, and, although it is not a remake, it is, in fact, inspired by 2LDK. The movie, to be directed by Andy Fickman (The Game Plan) and set to star Gemma Arterton (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), concerns two actresses who live together and are co-stars on a successful TV show. They, of course, hate each other and resort to extreme violence when competing for the same movie role.
*Update (7/19/2014): Jessica Alba has been cast, replacing Gemma Arterton, in The Wright Girls, which Kevin Connolly [who played Eric Murphy on HBO’s Entourage (2004-11)] will direct.
Another upcoming movie that seems to be “inspired” by 2LDK is 2BR/1BA (2014), directed by Rob Margolies and starring Alexa Vega (Machete Kills) and Spencer Grammer (ABC Family’s Greek). This movie looks cool (and, I love Kelsey‘s daughter Spencer), but, it’s way too similar to 2LDK, and I don’t see credit given anywhere. Watch the trailer here. You decide.
Or watch it here …