Perfume - The Story of a Murderer (15)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

Tue Dec 19 2006

How to recreate the wonder of smell on screen? Tom Tykwer’s answer: don’t bother, and indulge in other sensory pleasures instead. His and Andrew Birkin’s adaptation of Patrick Süskind’s novel chronicling the olfactory perversions of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a fictional serial killer in pre-revolutionary France with a particular nose for young women (who here all look like Calvin Klein models), offers obvious obstacles to any filmmaker. Bar rare experiments in ‘smellovision’ such as the ‘Odorama’ scratch-and-sniff cards John Waters created for ‘Polyester’ (1981), cinema doesn’t offer much to the humble pecker, preferring instead its close neighbours, the ears and eyes, from which Tykwer demands full attention, even if he leaves a jealous brain demanding more.

Tykwer manages to send a tingle up the spine from the off, when Grenouille’s mother gives birth to her unwanted boy among the stinking entrails of a Parisian fish market. He has us squirming at the sights and sounds of this living hell, just as he dives straight into the visual horror of the years that Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) spends living in an orphanage and working at a tannery. Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic deliver a rousing score (to which Tykwer himself contributed), but not even that can save a saggy middle section when we can’t help but tire a little of all the murder and beauty. One of the film’s last hurrahs takes the word baroque to a higher plain as we witness a mass public orgy, which can only be described as the marriage between the desert sex scene in ‘Zabriskie Point’ and the nude public photographs of Spencer Tunick. It’s a film so sumptuous that afterwards you’ll feel you’ve consumed a very, very rich meal indeed.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Tue Dec 26, 2006

Duration:

147 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Ben Whishaw, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Alan Rickman, Dustin Hoffman

Music:

Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer

Editor:

Alexander Berner

Production Designer:

Uli Hanisch

Cinematography:

Frank Griebe

Screenwriter:

Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger, Tom Tykwer

Producer:

Bernd Eichinger

Director:

Tom Tykwer

Narrators:

John Hurt

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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1 person listening
Ant

Definitely worth seeing. Strange and dark. Appealed to me as I don't like formulaic films.

GERRY SOMERS

A VERY UNUSUAL FILM TO SAY THE VERY LEAST!I SAT DOWN TO WATCH THIS FILM WITH LITTLE OR NO PRE KNOWLEDGE SO CAME WITH NO PRE CONCEPTIONS.I WAS PLEASENTLY SURPRISED AS IT WAS ONE OF THE MORE ENJOYABLE AND WEIRD FILMS I HAVE SEEN IN A VERY LONG TIME.THE MUSIC IS VERY ATMOSPHERIC AND THE COSTUMES REALLY FIT THE BILL AND BRING YOU BACK IN TIME.THE STORY AND THE ACTING WERE OF A VERY HIGH STANDARD.I WOULD DEFINETLY HIGHLY RECCOMMEND THIS FILM.

GERRY SOMERS

A VERY UNUSUAL FILM TO SAY THE VERY LEAST!I SAT DOWN TO WATCH THIS FILM WITH LITTLE OR NO PRE KNOWLEDGE SO CAME WITH NO PRE CONCEPTIONS.I WAS PLEASENTLY SURPRISED AS IT WAS ONE OF THE MORE ENJOYABLE AND WEIRD FILMS I HAVE SEEN IN A VERY LONG TIME.THE MUSIC IS VERY ATMOSPHERIC AND THE COSTUMES REALLY FIT THE BILL AND BRING YOU BACK IN TIME.THE STORY AND THE ACTING WERE OF A VERY HIGH STANDARD.I WOULD DEFINETLY HIGHLY RECCOMMEND THIS FILM.