Filmtips are always a difficult thing – how good or bad someone thinks that a movie is, always depends on a subjective opinion. However, we have a highly subjective film tip for you today. A movie that presents a worldwide catastrophe as a poetic masterpiece: Perfect Sense.
Director David Mackenzie made a movie where the humankind is in the final stages. Every human being loses its senses – one after another. Before one sense is gone the people are confronted with extreme emotional releases of different kinds. On a moment of absolute sadness follows the loss of the scent of smell. On a collective outburst of fury follows deafness. Sense by sense disappears and alongside a love story between the two great actors Ewan McGregor (Michael) and Eva Green (Susan) is told.
Both are directly affected by the catastrophe. He, because he is a cook and therefore directly related to sensory perceptions. She, because she is epidemiologist and therefore learns about the disease before the public knows what to expect. The pleasant thing about Susan’s role is that she does not work wonders and she is not the one to find the cure. Her job allows the audience to view the progression of the epidemic – not more, not less. Michael’s profession offers a very different view for the user. His job at a restaurant shows how important sensory perceptions and routines are for our daily behavior. People come to terms with the situation and make the best out of it if they have to. Life takes on its usual course after coming apart at the seams and a short period of adjustment. If you can’t smell, you add more flavor. If you can’t taste, you concentrate on how a dish feels – warm, cold, crispy, soft – and on how it looks. If you can’t hear, you go to the restaurant anyhow, just to be entertained and to talk to friends in sign language. As long as someday all senses are gone. Then you better not be alone.
During the film you inevitably ask yourself always one question again and again: Which sense is the least important to me? It is impossible to give an answer to this. The loss of the senses is depicted in a very poetic way in great scenes with fantastic pictures. When Susan and Michael turn deaf, the movie becomes ear-battering silent. This is one example of how well Mackenzie makes you feel their loss.
You won’t find typical disaster movie action – but this makes the film so beautiful. But it does not mean, that it is not disturbing and thrilling.
So this leaves us only on question for you: If you have to give up one sense, which one would it be?