Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer
I can't remember what this was a choice between at the video shop, something worse I believe, although Perfume is pretty disappointing.
The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) an orphan born in the slums of (ye olde) Paris with essentially a superhuman sense of smell, he grows up, discovers perfume and decides that he must (after a tragic accident) learn how to preserve scent, in the primary case, of beautiful young women.
That paragraph is a good half the film, mostly with incessant voice over courtesy of John Hurt.
The end of the film is, well, plain ridiculous and the, shall we say, third quarter, basically from the point where Alan Rickman turns up to before it goes all odd, could've made a bloody good film.
The first half, is all backstory, boring, drawn out backstory, with added voice over (not-so) goodness. Dustin Hoffman is quite funny at times, but ultimately his part could've been cut down to a non-sync scene as part of a montage. Mr Rickman does Mr Rickman very well (to the point of both myself and my girlfriend quoting Prince Of Thieves lines whenever he was on screen), but his character is woefully un-explored as is the whole situation in their village/town when all the decent thriller/mystery bits could have happened.
Perfume is set in France, however, no-one is french, the Parisians are London/Cockney (especially cor-blimey-smell-that-Jean-Baptise), the rural people have a distinct West Country accent, apart from Mr Rickman of course, and Dustin Hoffman plays an Italian.... American Italian I'm guessing.
It's never good when you get to the end of a film thinking "that could've been so much better", not even that it was outright toss, that it had untapped potential and every time that happens a kitten dies.
That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer - 4/10