7.5/10
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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

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Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director:

Tom Tykwer

Writers:

Andrew Birkin (screenplay), Bernd Eichinger (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,844 ( 50)
15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Whishaw ... Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
Francesc Albiol Francesc Albiol ... Court Official
Gonzalo Cunill Gonzalo Cunill ... Guard 1 Dungeon
Roger Salvany Roger Salvany ... Guard 2 Dungeon
Andrés Herrera ... Door Guard
Simon Chandler ... Mayor of Grasse
David Calder ... Bishop of Grasse
Richard Felix ... Chief Magistrate
Birgit Minichmayr ... Grenouille's Mother
Reg Wilson ... Customer Fishmarket
Catherine Boisgontier Catherine Boisgontier ... Woman Fishmarket
Núria Casas ... Woman 2 Fishmarket
Carlos Gramaje Carlos Gramaje ... Police Lieutenant Fishmarket
Sian Thomas ... Madame Gaillard
Michael Smiley ... Porter
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Storyline

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille 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 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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Enter an intoxicating world of passion, obsession and murder See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | France | Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El perfume See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,527, 31 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,223,293

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$135,039,943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actual liquid of the "ultimate" perfume at the end is a mixture of cola thinned with a bit of water. See more »

Goofs

Midway through the movie a whore appears with a Pekingese dog. The Pekingese were not formally introduced into Europe until midway through the 19th Century when Britain and France "sacked" the Chinese Empire (circa 1860). The Pekingese were kept exclusively in the Chinese Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) until then and maintained by eunuchs. The movie takes place in the mid 18th Century. While it may be possible British or French royalty could have had a Pekingese (although extremely unlikely), a French harlot owning a Pekingese in the 1700's is an impossibility. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Court Official: Quick. We can't hold them back much longer. Hurry. Come on!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 90210: Nerdy Little Secrets (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tarentelle
(Traditional)
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 »

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User Reviews

 
A sensual experience
14 September 2006 | by Spinelli_86See all my reviews

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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