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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.
I wouldn't want to say a lot about the story. Perfect Sense is a film
you have to see, taste, smell, listen. It's not a Contagion - like
movie, it's not a zombie one either, but it could definitely be a post
- apocalyptic reality check.
We could, but we wouldn't want to imagine something like that happening, yet again "what if". How strong is the human heart and mind and how could we adapt in such a massive change? This film might suggest a hint.
Ewan McGregor plays a chef that somehow gets involved with Eva Green, a scientist. Then, all that matters is how these two characters cope with an epidemic that bursts, depriving people their senses.
I found this film quite enlightening, the performances intense, the music appropriate and, last but not least, the photography/ filming magnificent. Great work from the director David Mackenzie. The end was mind blowing, for me.
Keep an open mind, look at the big picture and it'll be worth your time.
Yes, it's a romantic film. There's a lot of light-hearted stuff in the
mix. But the concept of what inevitably will happen and the events
mapping the way were frightening to me. I had a very present fear that
the same thing could happen to me, silly as that sounds. I felt like
I'd been punched in the stomach at the end.
My roommate and I watched this and Contagion on the same night. Compared to this, Contagion was a let down and almost boring--not denying that it was a really good film, it just wasn't as polished. Perfect Sense had so much STYLE and kept us glued to the screen. It was so entertaining! I think it's my favorite "world might be ending" movie of all time. I've never been so satisfied by a film of this genre before.
I don't know where to start, but it was quite an eye opener, since civilization began there are certain things that we take for granted, The basic things like our senses you will only realise it when you lose them.... as they say "Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are".. To understand the true beauty of life, you need to know what being alive is all about. After watching the movie I felt that it answered some of my questions... I think everyone should watch this movie... you might find it a bit slow phased but believe me it's a ride worth going for.... Ewan McGregor has done a marvellous job and so did Eva Green, the direction is flawless and it moves like poetry. Please watch this movie....
I won't spend a lot on the synopsis since most have already explained
it. Simply put, this movie is a story of two people who fall in love
just as an epidemic spreads across the world ridding people of their
five senses, one by one.
Personally, I loved the film! It is a beautiful film to look at, even in the most devastating of scenes. I felt multiple emotions throughout the film, of which I felt the movie accomplished well. There are scenes that may make you laugh, scenes that may make you feel tense, scenes that may make you shed some tears, scenes that may make you feel more appreciative of what you have in life.
Now like I said in the title of this review this film is not for everyone. Some will find it silly or weird such as the symptoms that precede the loss of each sense (an example includes a massive consumption of everything in sight, from flowers to lipstick to a whole can of mustard). Some may also feel the movie is too optimistic in an end-of-the-world-scenario. You will either go with the film or you won't. I went with it and was thoroughly moved.
I've read multiple reviews on this film, and it seems that many people take different things away from it. That is what I think makes a great film, when people are left to discuss after the credits roll. This is definitely one of my most favorites films in a while, and I wouldn't hesitate to watch it again.
There's no point rehashing what many of the other reviews say. I will tell you the one thing that matters: I've only ever cried over 3 movies, 1st when ET died (I was like 8), 2nd at the end of Ice Castles (again, I think I was 8 -- bad year), and finally at the end of this movie. I cried for 30 minutes. Then my wife wanted to watch the ending again because she missed something and I cried again. I don't know why this movie touched me so deeply but it did. You feel for the characters, you fear for what happens next. When the screen goes blank at the end, you fear for what will become of them. This was a powerful film and I highly recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of all the senses, smell most strongly connects us to memory and the
past. Taste locks us into the present. Hearing and sight help us
navigate through the world. It is touch, however, that connects us
intimately to each other.
"Perfect Sense' presents a pre-apocalyptic event, the loss, on a global scale, of the senses one by one. Michael and Susan are flawed individuals, a chef and a doctor, carrying their scars and regrets through Glasgow's world of bright young things, two individuals who find each other just as the world loses everything.
Eva Green as Susan is instantly charismatic, a strong-willed, demanding woman who sets high standards because she knows she deserves it. At the same time, she fears no one can live up to her demands. McGregor gets to test his range as Michael, going through women like short-orders in his kitchen, with just as much attention and interest. When he meets his match in Susan, he has to face that he has found what he has been looking for all his life, and now a pandemic will take it away. His loss proves the most profoundly moving element of the film.
McKenzie films Glasgow in glory and decay, making wonderful use of water and reflected light as he did in Young Adam. The hard jar of the camera on a bicycle sans steadicam is a brave choice, but it draws your attention to visual sense and foreshadows the losses about to fall. Before each sense is lost there is a brief intense burning of that sense. This is most effectively portrayed in a canny use of sound when Susan stops the car, winds down the window, and the cacophony of sound in our world, starting with church bells and extending to screeching parrots, rushes in on the two silent, fearful lovers.
There is one missed beat, when Susan takes the huff because of what Michael says in his virus-induced rage before losing a sense. With the world coming to an end all around you, it stretches credulity to think she'd throw a strop over some bilious comments - especially as a medic. But it does set up a beautiful denouement, the lovers desperately searching for reconciliation as the world gradually, then suddenly, stops functioning.
This is a moving film, a thought-provoking one, about love, connection, and all the things we take for granted. An antidote to bombastic, finger-wagging fare such as Day After Tomorrow, it earns your tears at several moments. Quite possibly Mackenzie's best film to date.
Perfect Sense turns out to be a flavor-rich drama with absorbing
performances from the lead pair Ewan McGregor & Eva Green. And I would
categorize it as a perfectly made scifi drama, alongside the likes of
Eternal Sunshine & Children of Men.
The narrative style and the evolving storyline makes it an enjoyable drama. It doesn't shoulder the burden of a beginning or an end, the genesis of an epidemic or an apocalyptic vision. Instead its all depicted in the background, thus making the movie enlivening. And never ever did i get a dark vibe, for with each phase it moves on just the way its shown in the movie. And then finally we don't pity, rather, we empathize and be part of that world.
Thankfully, we don't have surreal gimmickry or plot viagra's in the movie - as its common and indispensable in scifi & romantic flicks - which makes it artistic and cinematic. Loved every bit of this extraordinary movie experience.. :)
Even after watching it, I still don't know if it's brilliant or pathetic. It's something between "The tree of life" and "Blindness". For those who managed to watch it till the end, it will be definitely disturbing. Photography is amazing. Some disgusting scenes that could have been cut, some great ones that will make you remember your own past.I enjoyed specially Eva's "Blade Runner style" narration, with all those thoughts about love and the meaning of life. Maybe that's what the movie is all about, love is the only thing that makes sense in our lives. Anyway, at the end I realized that a movie who brings us such controversial feelings, is a far from being pathetic.
"There is darkness. There is light. There are men and women. There's
food. There are restaurants. Disease. There is work. Traffic. The days
as we knew them. The world as we imagine the world." That's the epic
After watching the movie, you will start to realize the things we do and the things we don't do. The conclusion will be to start taste the joy, hear the colors and see the sun.
The acting by Ewan McGregor and Eva Green is fitting very well to the plot. I think 2012 will be a good year for BBC films.
A perfect way to start 2012!
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