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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 02.09.12] United Kingdom apocalyptic scifi drama romance

Year: 2011
Directors: David Mackenzie
Writers: Kim Fupz Aakeson
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Agentorange
Rating: 5 out of 10

I really wanted to like Perfect Sense. It offers a truly unique apocalyptic concept - a virus kills off people's five senses one-by-one - but the film is just too hypnotic and dislocating to deliver on its promise of an emotionally devastating and tragic love story, which is really the important core of the story.

But let's back up here. Director David Mackenzie has said that "it's up to the viewer to take [the film] as they want to." Um, ok. Except it's fairly obvious that the film is saying two things: 1) Don't take shit for granted and 2) Reach out and touch someone before it's too late.

If you make the decision to tell the story of two prickly people who are finally able to give themselves to someone and fall in love only to find that it's too late, you better be willing to devote your entire first act to two people falling in love. And that's it. Screw the plague, or conversations about food and the state of the world. There's time to delve into all those topics later. For 30 minutes you have to sell this love to me, warts and all. You have to brings these two together, tear them apart and bring them back together within the first act. Because if you don't sell me on that you're just not fulfilling the emotional needs of the story at the end. In short, the plague shouldn't bring these people together, it should tear them apart.

In the first scene, Ewan McGregor kicks Eva Green out of bed (grounds for apocalyptic sense deterioration right there, buddy) because he finds it too difficult to sleep with someone else there. And Eva Green is prickly as ever through the entire film, never really able to let anyone into her life. And really, they never connect in the film beyond sharing a cigarette and taking a stroll one day. And even when they do, the actors play it like they're unsure.

So basically, because the romance is non-existent and the director seems intent on pushing the audience away, the film feels dramatically DOA - listless and unfocused. McGregor is good as always and, as usual, you'll beg for Green to crack a smile. McKenzie's style continues to be bland and uninspired. Ultimately the whole thing feels like a waste of everybody's time, which is too bad because you can feel that there is an inherent power in the concept that just isn't realized.

When projectcyclops reviewed the film he said it would polarize people and I think he's right on the money.

No sir, didn't like it.

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quietearth (10 years ago) Reply

I'd give this a 7, real slow burner.. but halfway through it gets real good.


lbt (10 years ago) Reply

Have to disagree with you there. Found it to be a very good movie. Sure, it's a love story with a PA backdrop but it worked for me. 9/10


lbt (10 years ago) Reply

Would also like to point out that Ewan did not kick Eva out of bed in the first scene, that was a different woman.

It was also great to see the two Ewan's sharing the screen once again.


Cletus (10 years ago) Reply

Disagree with you totally. For all the reasons you disliked it, I liked it. A disturbing and thought provoking vision - well, ok, the food gorging thing was a stretch...


Silus (10 years ago) Reply

Yeah, I loved it too.


Frank (10 years ago) Reply

I loved it too. Really had me wondering about the loss of touch. If, and when, the 5th sense goes, how can anyone identify the existence of an outside world? We just become masses of thought until we die. I can't figure out if that would be peaceful or terrifying, but it's something I wish I could feel for a short time. To just completely close myself off from the world for an hour and think -- without distraction.
And ya, it wasn't Eva he kicked out of bed.


Widgey (10 years ago) Reply

I don't agree that the romance was non-existent, your reasoning is clearly wrong as it was not her he kicked out of bed at the start. I think the portrayal of there relationship was realistic. People are guarded and selfish. I think the writings on the wall after the hearing goes, I would have my suicide plan ready.

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