Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perfume: The Story Of a Murderer (2006) or What If You Found Out You Have No B.O.?

Recently Updated35
Okay, this is movie is based on a best selling novel of the same name by Patrick Süskind and directed by Tom Twyker, the dude who directed the cult favorite, Run Lola Run (1998).

Recently Updated36
The only star you’ll probably recognize is Dustin Hoffman. Oh! And the guy who plays Snape from the Harry Potter movies.

The movie is beautifully shot, like some olde timey Dutch painting. The visuals are so stunning that they can take your breath away.  And this is done very methodically because I could swear that I could smell the fruits, flowers and fish guts emanate from the screen.  The breathtaking visual is not just for flash, but it is a tool to create the illusion of heightened senses.

Recently Updated34
It tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a guy born amongst fish guts at a local market in Baroque France. (So yes, guys and gals in powder wigs and opulent costumes and set pieces.)
Jean Baptiste is born with a special talent.  He basically reminds me of a rat or my beagle, his nose constantly sniffing the air.  Growing up at the orphanage, all the other children can tell that he is a freak, though they can’t quite put their finger on what it is.  Soon, Jean Baptiste puts his sniffing talents to good use, when fate delivers him to a perfume shop. Yada-yada-yada, the perfume shop owner connects that dots and Jean Baptiste is made into his apprentice.

This movie could also have been titled “To Make Perfume”.  Unlike To  Kill a Mockingbird, this movie does shed some light into how perfume is made.

You also should probably know, at the start of the movie, Jean Baptiste is being hanged.  The story is told in flashback.  So how does a poor guy who struggled through life with a supernatural sense of smell end up getting hanged for murder?

Well, this is what I believe made this movie, this whole story, so powerful and moving.  This guy, will stop at no cost, to find the perfect scent.  He does find that perfect scent.  But at what cost? Well, in order to make the perfect scent, you have to extract the scent of a virgin. Yes, this guy goes on a killing rampage.  He doesn’t even have sex with these women.  He just kills them for their scent. Nice huh?

But through out the whole movie, the strange thing was, I didn’t want the guy to get caught. He is a despicable man but….maybe it has something to do with that scene where he discovers he has no smell. Yes, the guy has no smell. That was what made him such a freak and what the other kids at the orphanage sensed.  Well, this attribute of his only fuels his desires on the quest for that perfect scent.  He has to compensate for the fact that he doesn’t have an odor.

Which lead me to the observe, that yes, we all do have a unique funk or body odor (some stronger than others—don’t look at me!) I couldn’t help but ask myself, what if I found out that I was not like everyone else and had no B.O.? Would that really make me happy?  I would never have to take a bath! Yet still, I would be PISSED if I found out that I had no B.O.

This movie is truly an experience that shall linger with you for a week(yes, sorta like a bad smell).  Weeks after this movie, I kept trying to smell things.  Isn’t this ultimately what movies should do?  Let you live out your life, rather than have it be the other way around.

I need to go out and smell the world!

Oh, did I forget that at the end of the film there is a huge orgy? I’m kidding.  Or maybe I am not.

1 comment:

Sergei Itzam Coiot said...

I wanna watch this now. But i wouldnot be pissed ot have no BO. No, infact, I would be happy. who wants ot smell like hair oil and sweaty armpits?