Based on the best-selling 1985 novel by Patrick Süskind, an 18th Century French orphan, born with an impeccable sense of smell, becomes a famous perfumer and goes on a dark journey searching for the ultimate scent.
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Perfume: The Story of a MurdererInstrueret afTom Tykwer
Perfume may lack the density of the prose, but Tykwer's phenomenal direction reveals a filmmaker with extreme sensitivity and an acute sense of how to use cinematic tools to provoke emotion. In all its operatic tragedies, Perfume is a paradox if there ever was one: a disturbingly beautiful and flawed triumph!
A second viewing of this fine film reminded me of all the beautiful sets and locations, the incredible production design, the fine (albeit absurdist at times) performances from the supporting cast and the unbelievable offering of gorgeous women. Undoubtedly one of the best films of the past decade, not to mention curiously overlooked and under-appreciated. A beautiful tale!
This movie improves on multiple viewings. As imperfect as it is, I find it engaging in the same way as Tideland. Its beautiful, audacious, and utterly captivating. Not for everyone, obviously but fuck, those who love it, LOVE IT!
What a deliciously absurd exercise. Despite a weak beginning which tries (and in my estimation, fails) to emulate scent through a combination of VO narration, close-ups and exaggerated foley, the film explores obsession, psychopathy, the benefits and downsides of genius, the concept of love (and emotions in general) and more in such unusual and interesting ways, then it closes with two completely unexpected endings.
Ever watch a movie and when you think about it quick and you say "oh that was dumb", but then you think about it more and you say "uh it wasn't that bad actually it was kinda good" then you think about it for a little longer and you remember why you hated it? Yeah well that's what this movie does for me.
Watched this again today, and I think it's one of the most underrated films of the past decade. I haven't read the novel so can't compare, but the film is one of the most deliciously sensual I can remember. Painterly visuals, stunning landscapes, operatic score, superb central performance, moments of audacity. It almost tips into comedic absurdity at some points but I will completely allow that for the rest.