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With "The Perfume" it's like with any blockbuster movie: if the critics
praise it, it's horrible - if the critics hate it, it's brilliant.
I had the chance to watch a preview of "The Perfume" tonight and I was very surprised: this movie is really good! Okay, it can't actually make you smell all the scents and odours, but the images and the music allow you to experience the atmosphere and the emotions Grenouille is feeling when he takes in the scents of his environment. You couldn't have done this much better without the use of real scents at theatres.
Although much of the story is told by a narrative voice (mostly quotes from the novel), the movie is still thrilling and exciting all the way. It's a very good adaption of Süskind's novel, sticking to the original plot concerning the major events, leaving away unnecessary subplots (although it's a pity that funny "lethal gas"-plot was cut out!) and shortening long passages. The result is well-constructed movie that is worth seeing.
The actors, especially Whishaw who plays Grenouille, have done a very good job. Like in the novel, Grenouille is an ambivalent character and you never know whether to love him for his genius talent or to hate him for his cruel murders. Whishaw's half-crazy, scary gaze made me shiver. Dustin Hoffman as old and unsuccessful parfumeur Baldini was very convincing... I loved the way he talks to Grenouille arrogantly although he recognizes how much more talent the young man has. Baldini is always good for a laugh.
The only thing to criticize is that the movie is not as brutal as the novel. I think they wanted to avoid the FSK 16 rating and so didn't show much violence, which in my opinion would have been necessary if you wanted the movie to have the same shocking impact on the audience as the novel. For example I was really shocked by the end of the novel - in the movie you hardly see what happens.
However, it's really a thrilling story visualized excellently - go to the movies and watch "The Perfume"! You won't be disappointed.
To my dismay this movie has been accused of dealing with the addressed
subjects only on the surface and just trying to shock the audience with
extreme imagery. I strongly have to disagree with that. "Das Parfum"
may be a lot of things but shocking sure isn't one of them. Of course
it is visually overwhelming and not only with pictures of pretty
flowers and sounds of the wind softly shaking the trees on a warm
summer night but what is this movie, if not a piece about the
sensuality of the human being? Yes, it is about smells but smelling is
just simply not one of the things you can experience while sitting in a
movie theatre. This motion picture however comes very close to it. We
see close-ups on maggots crawling around and fish getting their heads
chopped of but also human bodies in all their perfection and people
declaring their honest love for one another. It might be impossible to
make the audience fully understand the world in which Jean-Baptiste
Grenouille lives but it does manage to create a similar vibe that
brings us close to what Grenouille "feels" when he smells. Tom Tykwer
beautifully achieves to always put the audience in the right mood, with
the help of an amazing soundtrack and great camera work.
One could criticize that Ben Wishaw is too good looking for the part but we have to keep in mind that this story is supposed to be about the character of Grenouille and the way he himself sees his live. Since to him, the smell is the soul of every being, his appearance does not matter to him. So we might as well thank Tom Tykwer for casting an actor who is pretty decent to look at for two and half hours.
Please watch this movie without any prejudices. Open your mind to images and sounds and try to imagine what your feeling could "smell" like. And even if that does not work you can still just enjoy a beautifully told story. Either way, you will be touched.
wow, a serial-killer movie WITHOUT blood and action and wild chase
sequences and stuff like this.
People who are used to fast Hollywood Movies certainly won't be satisfied with this movie. It's really unusual, as the novel is. It's generally difficult to convey something like a SMELL in a book or a movie, and it's also difficult to create a satisfying adaption of a novel. So my personal opinion is that The Parfume Movie is one of the few good adaptations, because it eagerly tries to convey the complicated world of smells and the world of Grenouille and also achieves it in many ways. There are of course some parts missing or changed if you compare novel and movie, but that is always the case with adaptations.
I saw the movie one hour ago and have just read some comments. Some of them are "disappointed" or "boooring", but most of these opinions are really not well founded, so I couldn't make out what EXACTLY was so boring and disappointing... However, I'll keep on dwelling in the magic of the movie, looking forward to other more positive comments...
It was a masterful achievement bringing the concepts of scent in to a
book, bringing it to the large screen has even more challenges, which I
believe was superbly overcome in this film. The film is narrated to
ensure the audience understands some of the concepts and some parts of
the plot were "dumbed-down" to make sure the audience got the point.
Unfortunately, much of the book had to be skipped in the interest of time much of Grenouille's childhood is glossed over and the bit after the cave visit is completely omitted.
Despite this, the atmospheric sets and brilliant acting (with the exception of a disappointing Mr. Hoffman, who really does not have the stature of a master Parisian perfumer) kept me completely enthralled.
As in the original book, there is quite a bit of nudity, which is tastefully done, but I will be interested to see how this is swallowed in America it will probably get an 18 rating or be cut down, which is a shame, it was given a 12 rating in Germany.
In summary, a really great film, but probably best if you have read the book beforehand..
In this colourful and gripping film, you can literally "smell" the
pictures. Sometimes they are captivating, sometimes awful, but they are
always fascinating. A great, great movie about sensuality, desire,
greed... and the quest for love. Wonderful cast (even Hoffman is
excellent!), wonderful music (and the score is not "too" present, which
is a good thing), wonderful direction. 2 and a half hours may seem a
long time for some, but not for the real sensualists. The story and the
film may have their flaws, but they also have outstanding qualities and
in a perfect world Tom Tykwer should receive an award for his superb
adaptation of the splendid book by Patrick Süsskind.
A must see. Or, should I say, a must "smell"!
I don't understand people who say this movie is dull, boring or bad. I guess these people are only into mindless action-movies with simple dialog where people get slaughtered in a brutal and visually gory way. If you have a mind and you are able to think, this movie maybe something for you. The characters in the movie are strong, you sympathize with them easily. It is upsetting why the main character is killing the girls, as it is actually unnecessary. The sceneries and costumes look great. I felt like I was there. The movie shows moderate violence, which is all just suggestive, you don't see any blood. I give this movie 8 points. It is a good movie, which I'd recommend to my friends.
I'd only heard bad things about this movie in advance and I hadn't been
too impressed with the trailer - I thought the actor playing Grenouille
was too pretty, giving his behavior an almost sensual feel, which it
definitely shouldn't have. However, when I had the chance to see a
press showing of it, I knew I had to see it because Süskind's book was
one of the highlights of my school career. I was pleasantly surprised -
the movie is well done, beautifully filmed (I especially enjoyed the
period details that always felt very down-to-earth and alive), and the
main character was never attractive and actually quite creepy (although
in my mind, Grenouille will probably always more resemble a Gollum-like
Putting scent into images, however, is even more difficult than putting them into words, in my opinion, and this is where the movie lacked. It just did not grip me the way the book had, did not pull me into this world of smells, and after 2 hours I started getting impatient for the story to finally move on and wrap up. All in all I think the movie could have been better, but it was definitely better than I'd feared and is well worth a look.
I didn't expect too much of the film as the producer, Bernd Eichinger, didn't succeed in my point of view with other book to film transitions like the name of the rose, the house of spirits or Smilla's sense of snow. they were all far too corny and even though each film had its moment, the films just weren't very good. I suspected the same to happen with the perfume. the teaser trailer was excellent, but the regular trailer spoilt a lot as it just showed too much and didn't capture the film's quality at all. so i entered the film with trepidation and was convinced otherwise. Tom Tykwer showed us again and again that he is a huge talent, be it winter sleeper, Lola runs or the warrior and the empress. the perfume is a visual feast. all roles are perfectly cast, the music, the camera, everything fits together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. And the film isn't Hollywood-like mainstream like e.g. the Da Vinci Code at all. thank god. it has lots of black humor without getting cynic, it is quite amoral and at other times just immersed in beauty - and every penny of its 50 Mio euro budget shows. how much better to spend 50 Mio in the perfume than 150 Mio in crap movies like Wolfgang Petersen's latest. i am already very much looking forward to Mr Tykwer's next film. he plays in another league now.
I just read the book last week and watched the movie yesterday. And I have to say, I liked it. For sure, it wasn't as good as the book. On the one hand it is hard to visualize smells and on the other hand not everything can be shown during the movie. But for me, it was realized pretty well. Even you can not smell the things, you can imagine how they smell which may be due to the camera work, which was well done! For me, the actors did a really good job, too. They played their roles really good and according to Grenouille, I really thought that he was the Grenouille described in the book. The only "negative" thing I can say about that, is that in the book he is described as an ugly person, but Ben Wishow is not ugly. But to me, that didn't really matter. So, all in all I have to say, that the movie isn't as good as the book (which is mostly the case), but although I think that it is a really good made movie.
People who know the book tend to expect an exact illustration. This c a
n work, but serves in any case to prove the book as untouchable
"original" of which the movie manages or not to find appropriate
images. The film has its flaws, I admit. I won't repeat the points
others found. But the book has flaws as well. Art is always flawed. So
Süskind fails to make his main character real. Through narration we
understand smell to be deeply connected to our emotions, but we have no
soul in the book to identify with. Therefore everything is left to our
Did anyone really wish to accompany an ugly, demented Grenouille two and a half hours long, and smile about the satirical and philosophical subtleness of the story? Film is a completely different art and requires the freedom to develop its own language. Imho Tom Tykwer made such a strong and overwhelming intro, the first 30 minutes are so good, that the rest of the movie, though good too, can't top it.
Compared to last years big budget movies the film is the most interesting since many years. Count "Aviator", but please leave out "Pirates" and "Superman"
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