Reviews & Counting
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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Tom Tykwer

Ben Whishaw/Jean-Baptiste
Dustin Hoffman/Giuseppe
Rachel Hurd-Wood/Laura
Alan Rickman/Antoine
7 10
In the old days (don’t ask me when, I’m too lazy to research) some young duder (Whishaw) starts killing broads in the name of managing to bottle their scent i.e. create a perfume that smells like dames. Okay… we all have our hobbies I guess, I like to finger-paint, but that’s just me. Now if only all that wasted energy would’ve been put in getting a job or/and getting laid…if only…he would’ve been a happier lad.

Whatever his insane scheme is... it will surely be incomplete without you - Antoine

Tom Tykwer got me in his posse with the nut-blowing RUN LOLA RUN. Man did that movie own me! I’ve been following his career ever since, and apart from HEAVEN, I’m sad to say (well not that sad, its not like I’m crying and shit) that I haven’t been too impressed with his follow —ups. Too artsy-fartsy…even for my randomly pretentious ass! Now the lad returns with his latest effort PERFUME. So did it smell like raccoon tampered trash or a Calvin Clein product?

I’ll be honest with you all, after viewing the first 20 minutes of Perfume; I turned it off and said, “F*ck this movie! This isn’t my bag”. Like really, why should I give a damn about some loser with an acute sense of smell who’s obsessed with some trivial cause of bottling female odor for reasons that still escape me (If you're that bored, its called Monopoly…play it!). Like really? I got stuff to do, STD tests to take and debts to pay man. But I eventually cracked like a Ritz cracker hidden under a hefty boulder on top of Richard Simmons and said to myself “survive it, survive it ya clown”. So I did and discovered a well-formed, impeccably acted and razor directed piece of period horror.

Perfume pulled off the impossible; it tagged me with some spineless, impotent, oddball killer for the bulk of its running time and made me care. After I got over my initial reaction of what this film was about, I found myself totally engaged in this loon's travels, his inane quest, his many experiments and his brutal kills. I wanted his perfume to happen and was rooting for the guy to pull through! How did that happen??? How did I only turn on the mook at the last block! How did he keep me on his side that long??? PROPS! Some credit goes to Tykwer’s keen eye as to one of the reasons why I didn’t jump ship on this one. The way he visually communicated the power of his protagonist's nostrils, his passion for his goal, the horror ringers at hand, the convincing period setting and the dire consequences of this twat’s murder spree totally sucked me into this world and I felt comfortable there. Was it ugly? Yes. Was it wretched? Yes. Was it as freaking compelling as a plaid skirt heavy, lesbian show at a strip-club? YOU BET!

Furthermore the skilled acting pork-chops on display upped the vice-grip on my neck. An eccentric Dustin Hoffman, a no-bullshit Alan Rickman, the lovely Rachel Hurd Wood and the uber credible Ben Whishaw as the nut all made sure to keep me in this sordid game, concerned as to what was going to go down next. You can’t go wrong with a cast like that. You just can’t! And when taking into account that all of that loving was wrapped in lavish cinematography, kinetic editing, an overwhelming score and a thick thematic blanket of beauty versus ugliness…you get an Arrow hooked under mouth. Ouch cela fais mal!

With that gunned your way, much like most of my dates past the 2 week mark, the flick did rub me the wrong way in places. First it was a pinch too long for its own good, making way for redundancy. I get it; he wants to pull off a particular perfume. How many montages of him “trying to do that” do I have to sit through? I GOT IT! Worst of all though, the flick gave me a cap-off that pissed me the fudge off. And yes I know it was the same ending as in the book and I still don’t give a shit. I was yearning for one ending and one ending only. The flick gave me something else. Something WAYYYY out there! And although I respected the ballsy/artsy move, I just didn’t feel fulfilled as an audience member who invested his lack of soul into this story for over 2 hours. Think being jerked-off and having the chick booking out your pad, with your fav Freddy Krueger figurine in hand, seconds before you’re about to make it rain. Same infuriating feeling. I hate it when that happens!

Overall though, PERFUME was on a paper a solid piece. Strong script, top-notch acting, hypnotizing visuals and a brave demeanor that took me aback many o times by taking paths that I didn’t think it would take. I respected the film. But was it a movie that I’d see again? No. Was it a movie that I related to? No. Was it a movie that left me satisfied as the end credits rolled? No. An odd experience for me. You smell that? Smell like broads in a bottle yo! DIG IN!

We get random blood and some disturbing imagery. The film wasn’t graphic but what it suggested made me feel dirty. Make sense?
Ben Whishaw (Jean-Baptiste) was so convincing as the psycho a go-go smelling machine that I was either cheering for him or kept wishing him a harsh death. Dustin Hoffman (Giuseppe) had me from the get-go with his focused and unique display. Rachel Hurd-Wood (Laura) was beauty on two legs and had the talent to back that up. May the Lord praise Alan Rickman (Antoine). It had been a while since I had seen the dude at work and he reminded me of what a captivating and powerful actor he is. RICKMAN!!! YA F*CK! I LOVE YOU MAN!
T & A
Tits, bush, tits…yeah there were on the menu! Too bad they mostly belonged to dead chicks and were far from a turn on. Back to my Victoria Secret catalogue I go! The ladies get dudes shirtless and quick butt shots. Nothing to moist about.
Tom Tykwer was dropping potent bombs left and right in the way he perfectly captured the poverty/decay & richness/beauty of his surroundings and how he used quick cuts, fade to white and rapid cams to express his story. The man can shoot two cats banging and make it gripping, imagine what he did with a layered and vast flick such as this one! Exactly!
We get an often “opera” inclined score that gave added juice to the commanding imagery. Like a girl on her knees with an ice cube in her mouth…it was enticing and ‘DIFFERENT”!
PERFUME is the ideal film to use as an example of where the “movie fan” and the “movie critic” in me have to separate now and again in the name of a fair review. The movie fan in me didn’t give a hoot about the premise, had trouble identifying with the madcap/pathetic lead and freaking hated the unconventional ending. But the “movie critic” in me (god I hate that word…for the record, I’m no critic, just a twat with an opinion…like you) couldn’t overlook the solid screenplay, the high impact directing, stellar acting, striking imagery and courageous turn of events. In closing, Perfume is a rock-cock-solid film no doubt and I am happy that I saw it; but the day I pop it in my DVD player again, is the day that Bai Ling juggles my balls for half an hour before hand as a form of “convincing”. Roll credits! I’m done and off to the Pub!
Based on Patrick Süskind's novel "Das Parfum".

Ridley Scott was attached to the project at some point and Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese and Milos Forman were all names that were considered as to the project.