Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) came into the world unwanted, expected to die, yet born with an unnerving sense of smell that created alienation, as well as talent. Of all of the smells around him, Grenouille is beckoned to the scent of a woman's soul, and spends the rest of his life attempting to smell her essence again by becoming a perfumer, and creating the essence of an innocence lost.
Patrick Süskind is known to be very skeptical, and for a long time did not want to sell the movie rights to his novel. His experience with Producer and Screenwriter Bernd Eichinger, and others who desperately wanted to turn "Das Parfum" into a movie, was shown in the satire Rossini (1997), for which he wrote the screenplay. His character was the strange author, Jakob Windisch. Bernd Eichinger was portrayed in the character Oskar Reiter. In Rossini, the book, over which everybody was fighting, was changed into a novel about the Loreley-legend. Other characters in this movie are caricatures of the Munich media business. See more »
The method of enfleurage that Grenouille is first seen practicing is called cold enfleurage - placing live botanicals in a layer of lard or tallow set in a frame. However, this method of enfleurage was not developed until the 1800's. The movie is set in the mid 1700's. See more »
Performed by Saboï and its Members
Asta Coulomb, Christian Coulomb, Sebastien Coulomb, François Hecquet, Bertrand Mercier, Nicolas Pillard,
Edo Pols, Jocelyn Raulet, Simon Staelens, Remi Tran-No
By arrangement: Christian Coulomb See more »
Better than I expected
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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