The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
An odd epidemic appears across the globe: people suddenly lose one of their senses. At first, it's an outbreak of loss of smell. It's often presaged by a destructive temper tantrum. In this mix are a scientist and a chef - she's Susan, one of a team trying to understand the epidemic; he's Michael, charming and engaging. Susan and Michael begin a relationship in the middle of increasing chaos, as the loss of other senses plagues more people and as civil authorities try to maintain order. Susan's voice-over reflections provide insight. Is love possible in such a changed world? Can anything make perfect sense? Written by
When Stephen is talking to Susan and the Virologist near the beginning of the film, a doctor can be seen running down the stairs behind him towards the floor below. The camera cuts away and then back to Stephen, showing the doctor running back down the stairs again, then after a second cut back, he vanishes. See more »
There was darkness. There is light. There are men and women. There's food. There are restaurants. Disease. There's work. Traffic. The days as we know them, the world as we imagine the world.
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When I read the synopsis for _Perfect Sense_, I was expecting an apocalyptic romance. I was wrong. Such a description is too neat. This is more than escapist entertainment. It is an experience to be savored.
Its story is deceptively simple. It weaves a richer fabric than any casual touch will detect. Those who think its central device capricious (the disease and its development) give themselves too much credit for discerning the logic of their own lives. An illness may seem to follow no obvious or satisfying plot, but who can say whether any "misfortune" fails to follow a narrative too subtle for the prejudice of those who feel injured by it? Those who require every story to have a tidy, forensic resolution, with an indictable perpetrator for every ordeal, on whom they can unleash their outrage in order to achieve "closure," are the victims of their own narrow interpretation. Most pain is not conspiracy. The shared affliction of this story is poetic metaphor; however, like most good art, this film is about its characters, not its literary devices.
The cast's performances are not only authentic, they are illuminating; particularly Ewan McGregor's and Eva Green's central couple. Were they mere victims, their story would be hopeless tragedy. Instead, theirs is the account of an ordinary and vulnerable man and woman with extraordinary resilience, who attack, then embrace each other, stumbling over their circumstances as they learn to transcend them.
**A Brief Response to ArizWldcat's One-star Review**
If those at the premiere who asked questions after the screening (during the Q&A) are a representative sample of the audience, few of Mr. Mackenzie's viewers got the "point" of his film. One person asked the director what message or meaning he hoped we, his audience, would take from his film. He looked nonplussed at this question. He responded that the viewer had to answer that for himself.
It seems that Mr./Ms. ArizWldcat was one of those who expected this film to be easily categorized and to reaffirm a specific, pre-determined view of the world, such as a feel-good romance or a psychological thriller. The guy gets the girl and they save the world in the process, all portrayed through a predictably formulaic sequence of events. Everyone lives happily ever after. By those prerequisites, we would also be forced to give _Hamlet_ or _Citizen Kane_ one out of ten stars.
_Perfect Sense_ is a film whose "point" is not to make its audience comfortable or to provide the adrenaline buzz of a "thriller." Its purpose is to portray authentic human experience in an impossible situation. It did so admirably. It is one of the most hopeful films I have ever seen.
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