DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Film Review: Perfume

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (15)
Dir. Tom Tykwer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Here’s something worth sniffing out at a cinema this week but only if you’re hankering for a tale of freakish obsession and psychotic murder laced with moral dilemmas and copious nudity… You’ll need to be able to stomach a fiendishly macabre plot, buy into some fantastical notions of sensory manipulation and not flinch from a large scale on-screen orgy which surely pushes the edges of what a 15 rating can show?
Anyway, Tom Tykwer is the man who brings the much loved bestseller by Patrick Suskind to life and he does it with some lavish, stylish direction. The film is aided considerably by having a great cast including veterans like Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman but even these are put into the shade by newcomer (and if you’re reading this in Biggleswade – local
boy) Ben Whishaw. It is he that plays central character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille; a man with a unique gift / curse in that he is obsessed with the fleeting world of scent. He has the most amazing sense of smell to the point that he can detect things going on around him from the merest inhalation and it is his ever more desperate attempts to capture the soul essence or life odour of beauty itself that leads to his murderous ways.
You see unfortunately for the gorgeous targets of Grenouille’s affections, the process of capturing their scent involves them being killed, shaved and wrapped in animal fat which is then distilled. Top of the sniff crazy murderer’s target list is flame haired beauty Laura (played with mouth watering sensory vulnerability by Rachel ‘Wendy from Peter Pan’
Hurd-Wood). She is the embodiment of Grenouille’s first dangerous crush which led him to kill (a plum seller played by the equally lovely Karoline Herfurth).
In order to help condense the source material’s provocative rich textures and evocative psychological idiosyncrasies a useful voice over by John Hurt is employed. This allows the filmmakers to inject some of the fine prose from the novel into the proceedings and fill in on useful incidental details.
Perfume was once deemed ‘unfilmable’ by the late great Stanley Kubrick, yet this successful adaptation manages to deliver the thrills, chills, scents and shocks of the novel with aplomb. It’s certainly no stinker, in fact thanks to Whishaw’s powerhouse performance you can almost smell the teen spirit dripping from the screen.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - languid but tense

Laughs öö – not many

Horror öööö – nasty in parts

Babes öööö – yes - lots of!!

Overall öööö (sensory compulsion - highly recommended!)

"he's behind you...Karoline Herfurth about to meet her end..."

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Anonymous said...

You're the 2nd person who said that the film adaptation went really well. I also read the novel and thought the same, just how can they possibly do this in film, I guess it's my turn to find out when I see it tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

This is great! Ben Whishaw has just been nominated for the The BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award for his performance in Perfume. The other nominees are; Cillian Murphy, Eve Green, Emily Blunt and Naomie Harris.

Anonymous said...

Choosing the right perfume can be difficult and because it is also considered an intimate gift buying the wrong perfume

can backfire on you and get you the opposite result of that which you hoped for.

The first thing you need to do is do some homework, meaning research. Look at your lady's perfume bottles, the ones that

are nearly empty will be her favorites. If there is one there that is nearly full chances are she doesn't wear it often

or doesn't like it. Hint around and ask her what types of fragrances she likes and dislikes.

Humans are very sensory oriented and our sense of smell is no different. Certain perfumes can elicit strong reactions in

both the wearer and the person reacting to the scent. Perfumes are made not only to attract but to also relax someone. If

you aren't totally sure what kind of perfume to buy you can always play it safe and get something in the aromatherapy

line. If you go this route, bear in mind that vanilla scents are considered to relax and a peppermint or lemon scent will

be more stimulating.

Anonymous said...

The history of perfume oils dates back to ancient Egypt when these fine scented oils were presented to royalty as gifts. In modern times, however, when the word "perfume" is said, most people think of department store fragrances, which consist mainly of the concentrated oil and alcohol solution. Nevertheless, as more and more people are finding out about them, perfume oils are experiencing great popularity. Here are some interesting facts about perfume oils: