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Last night I watched Perfume: the story of a Murderer. The film is about a man who is born with an extraordinary sense of smell, whose mother abandons him at birth and who grows up to be obsessed with creating the ultimate scent. It takes place in the beginning half of the 1700s.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, played by Ben Wishaw, is determined to discover every scent in the world. The scent that most appeals to him is that of young beautiful women. To get the scent from them and preserve it he goes on a murdering spree.

The plot is just weird. And so is Jean-Baptiste. I couldn't get past his weirdness. He also displayed one expression most of the time: his head cocked a little to the side, as if he's a bird trying to figure out what that sound - or smell - is. He is a no-chin actor, with sloped shoulders, and quite thin in this film. I suspect he can act, given that he is presently playing Hamlet on the stage, but I didn't get much from him here.

There are always glitches in the making of "period" films. I noticed a couple. Jean-Baptiste's mother, in giving birth to him, lies down like she's on an operating table and spits it out forward. Highly unlikely she would voluntarily assume that position given that squatting is far more effective. The first woman Jean-Baptiste assaults wears a dress that has two straps, baring her upper arms and shoulders. I don't think so. Investigators actually pay attention to evidence - which in those days simply did not happen.

The film starts with Jean-Baptiste in prison, so it will be no surprise to note that eventually he is caught. What happens on the day scheduled for his execution? It's funny, actually. He has managed to hide a bottle of the perfume he has made from all these beautiful women and he uses it...and ....

Too long, too creepy. I didn't find it delightful. Others might.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 2nd, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Yes, that last scene was ridiculous. But the whole movie was ridiculous, so I guess it fit.
Nov. 2nd, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
Ah, so you saw it! I had not even heard of it. My roommate recommended it, and I don't know how he would have seen it - oh wait, he was at his sister's place when I was gone for a month. That's probably when. I 'm not sure I'm going to take his recommendations in the future.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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