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Definition 1.

An apartment designation in Japan, used in ads and wherever abbreviations are appropriate.

2 - 2 Bedroom
L - Living Room
D - Dining Room
K - Kitchen

Definition 2.

A Japanese film from 2004, created as 1/2 of a challenge between film producers.

Starring: Koike Eiko as Nozomi and Nonami Maho as Lana
Directed by Tsutsumi Yukihiko
Released: 2004
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Suspense, Action

The origin: Germany, film festival, lots of beer, 3am
The result: THE DUEL!

The contenders

1. Tsutsumi Yukihiko (2LDK)
2. Ryuhei Kitamura (Aragami)

The rules

1. 7 days of production.
2. 3 actors.
3. One set.
4. One must fall.

Brief Synopsis (no spoilers)

Director Tsutsumi's chosen set was the 2LDK apartment in Tokyo, shared by two young aspiring actresses, Nozomi and Lana. As we find out in the first part of the film, they are both pursuing the same role - but one is an older, jaded playgirl whose looks (although initially more stunning) are artificially augmented, and the other a young farm girl from Sado Island whose appeal lies in her wholesomeness. Lana lives life as it comes to her, while Nozomi prefers to have things categorized, orderly and "everything in its place".

Tension builds slowly in the first part. Lana feels slighted when Nozomi falls asleep after returning from the audition, and forgets to leave the door unbolted. Nozomi overlooks the slight verbal barbs slung by Lana, concerning her rural origins.

Verbal abuse escalates. Choice of clothing is disparaged. Personal habits are dissected and laughed at. The viewer is made aware of the girls' thoughts, as reactions to the conversation. Nozomi's tendency to label things is examined and scoffed at; Lana's disregard for the concept of ownership is considered. Men are briefly discussed.

Things get sticky.

Film Overview

As you may imagine from the rules of the Duel, the movie escalates drastically from there on, providing a competent picture of breakdown of all the internal checks and balances on our animal impulses. 'nuff said.

2LDK was made in just 7 days, per spec, and runs only 69 minutes. The actresses' performance starts out somewhat wooden, with the voiceover narration of their vituperative thoughts providing far more flavour than the voiced pseudo-pleasantries. Even though the language is foreign, it's easy to discern the initial lack of involvement in the roles. This improves drastically towards the end as stresses of filming (just eight days!) combined with an onset of two successive colds add up to create the sort of frenzied, frantic and claustrophobic atmosphere that the film requires from the start.

Each of the occupants of the 2LDK suffers a breakdown somewhat differently, and this is brought off quite well. The writing clearly shows that the two women live in different worlds, even if the performers occasionally suffer the stilted line or two. The action is good and occasionally brilliant. The conclusion is fantastic.

See it. It's a bit amateurish, but it's a great demonstration of what can be done with limited resources when there's talent involved. The DVD also contains an extensive "Making of" feature which is definitely worth watching.

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