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Interconnected stories examine situations involving the five senses. Touch is represented by a massage therapist who is treating a woman, while her daughter accidentally loses the woman's pre-school daughter in the park. The older daughter meets a voyeur (vision), a professional house-cleaner has an acute sense of smell, a cake maker has lost her sense of taste, and an older man is losing his hearing. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
A touching exploration of human perceptions and dynamics.
The five senses is a truly lovely film. It takes a look into the lives of several people, most of whom are somehow the embodiment of a sense. Yet the fact that they are so involved in a particular sense prevents them from experiencing life fully.
Sight is embodied in a young woman who bakes designer cakes. The cakes are visually stunning, but she has very little regard to how they taste. Sight is also the sense of a young man who voyeuristically watches men hook up in a park, but doesn't himself experience physical fulfilment.
Hearing is embodied in the bittersweet story of a doctor who is losing his hearing, and is concerned with hearing this favorite sounds one last time. Smell is personified by a young man who is convinced that love has a smell, and seeks out his former lovers in order to sniff them and see if they still love him. Touch is a massage therapist who seems to use her practice to regain the intimacy she once had with her now deceased husband. And finally, taste is embodied by the Italian lover of the cake baker who is constantly cooking, because it is his only real way of communicating with her.
These people's lives occasionally intersect because they all live work, or otherwise have ties to the same building. Their stories are woven around a larger story of a missing little girl. We get to know these people through short chronological glimpses into their lives that string together into a non-linear narrative. The device is similar to that used by Atom Egoyan, but the element of time is not distorted. In the end, not all of the stories are resolved, which is actually good because it keeps us thinking and allows us to revisit the characters and imagine a number of plausible endings.
The film has a beautifully austere formality about it. It meanders through its stories at a very thoughtful pace, and looks at them from a bit of a distance. We see very profound emotions before us, but experience them intellectually.
I can see that this film is not for everyone, but is great for those interested in a well crafted, thought-provoking experience.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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