Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) Poster

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8/10
The critics are wrong - Brilliant!
Naurya13 September 2006
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.
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9/10
A sensual experience
Spinelli_8614 September 2006
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.
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10/10
Unusual. That's why it's great.
matheistin13 September 2006
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...
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10/10
A world of its own
jeanbal21 October 2006
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"!
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9/10
Really Excellent, but probably best if you have read the book
IJKMan15 September 2006
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..
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8/10
Great movie, very good attempt to describe the book without being violent.
Bart Eeltink20 September 2006
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.
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7/10
Better than I expected
evawatches31 August 2006
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 creature).

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.
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10/10
...but will Americans understand it?
sarastro75 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is an art movie with an ending that will puzzle many. As of this writing (January 5), this movie has not yet been seen by many Americans. It has however, based largely on its European release, garnered a user rating of 7.4 already; a quite good rating. It was undoubtedly the right decision to have it open in Europe first. Assuming that Americans probably won't be able to appreciate it as much as us Old Worlders, the user rating will probably go down once a few thousand Americans have rated it here. But let me try to prevent that from happening by explaining what the movie is about.

The ending is really what makes the movie (or breaks it, for those who don't see the beauty of it). It becomes clear then that what Grenouille was trying to do was create a physical distillate of love. Not sex. Not beauty. Love. And he did it. He created the perfect feeling of love, both emotional and physical; a love encompassing perfect eroticism (not just emotionless sex). And in the end, he did what lovers do: he joined with other people. Yes, they absorbed him entirely, meaning that he became part of them, just as a person in love wishes to become part of his or her lover. But HE represented the very *concept* of love, and his physical absorption by the common people represents their ultimate adoption and understanding of that concept.

Of course, this is an art movie and everything in it is symbolical. It amounts to a description of what love is and how it works. The movie is saying that love is something real which *can* be defined and understood, and the ultimate consequence of such understanding is that people join with each other (emotionally and sexually). Even if they are strangers. Because everybody is capable of feeling love, and one day maybe everybody will.

It's a beautiful movie. When I left the theater I hadn't pieced everything together yet, and thought I'd rate it an 8 out of 10. But having slept on it, I realized it was a perfect movie. Hence, I must give it a 10 out of 10.
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8/10
I was surprised
MehlAmKnie14 September 2006
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.
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10/10
Tykwer is a master
cilantro-420 September 2006
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.
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