► No. 2 – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

This is the second movie review I post on this blog. The first was The Amazing Spiderman 4 which I thought was a fail for me on so many levels.

This week’s film review is:

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer [2006]
▬ Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime.

Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Writers: Andrew Birkin (screenplay),
Bernd Eichinger (screenplay),
Tom Tykwer (screenplay).

Perfume's Cast

Perfume’s Cast

Based on Patrick Suskind‘s classic novel – written in 1985 – that became an internationally acclaimed bestseller, Perfume depicts the story of the young Jean-Baptiste Grenouille [Ben Whishaw] born in the slums of eighteenth-century France and saved from death after his fishwife mother casually gives birth to him while chopping off cod heads. After being nearly thrown out with the refuse in a stinking charnel house, Jean-Baptiste grows up into a grim, taciturn survivor who possesses two extraordinary qualities: he has the most acute sense of smell in the world, and soon discovers that he has no scent of his own.

His job as a tanner leads him to eventually to a master perfumer, Master Giuseppe Baldini‘s [Dustin Hoffman] house/shop located on an overcrowded medieval bridge on the Seine. Baldini decides to buy Jean-Baptiste from his owner and take him as his apprentice. Jean-Baptiste manages to create perfect perfumes for Baldini, reviving his new master’s shop and attracting more people from around Paris.

Though, Jean-Baptiste‘s ambition in preserving smell was not complete by Baldini‘s mere apprenticeship, so Baldini  tells him the world center of the perfume art is in Grasse, in Southern France, and so he walks there.

Jean-Baptiste‘s passion leads him to become the slave of his own obsessions and shut out all other human experience, doing everything to achieve his desires, thus, becoming a murderer –  a mysterious serial killer who was now feared by the people of Grasse. Ben Whishaw succeeds in impersonating the dark character Jean-Baptiste once seeking to extract the scents of copper and glass, but now aiming to extract and preserve beauty itself.

This film is completely fascinating in its own twisted and dark plot and form, and it is also important to praise the narrator John Hurt who takes us deep into Grenouille’s thoughts and inner world. though you may not be able to savor it. Though you will not be able to stop watching. You can’t help but feel sorry for the victims, yet still sympathize with Jean-Baptiste. The characters are all well-rounded and serve the plot and atmosphere of the story. I can honestly say that this is most probably the best film I have ever watched thus far in its genre.

Overall rating: 7.8/10

[This is my personal rating – Feel free to share your thoughts]

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~ by Núr on August 18, 2013.

2 Responses to “► No. 2 – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”

  1. Isn’t most of it awfully redundant? I really like the idea of the whole thing and Jean-Baptiste’s obsession is wonderful, but it’s impossible to take seriously with that ending, the most hilarious film ending I’ve ever seen (which at least makes the whole memorable).

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    • I actually saw it as a kind of a way to have the whole story lap on itself, if I may say. I never really thought of another way for the story to end. Maybe it’s intentional for the ending to be silly seeing how obsessive Jean-Baptiste was in what he did. I felt it was a bit rushed: the distance between what happened on the day he was sentenced to die and when he returned back to the fish market. The movie, however, with all its flaws, still caught my attention.

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