Perfect Sense premiered at Sundance 2011 and was a major hit met with positive reviews. Madman recently released this Science Fiction tragedy on DVD and Bluray in Australia.
The world plunges into gradual chaos; an epidemic of unknown origin has, begun to one-by-one remove the senses that we hold dear but, also take for granted. Amidst this eventual doom is the fate of two lovers, a doctor, Susan (Eva Green
) and a chef, Michael (Ewan McGregor
). As they lose what it means to be human they cling to their love for each other, but is this enough?
certainly has grand ambitions for a love story, and this is, as stressed, what it primarily is. Behind this simple tale of two people finding each other is the extremity of a pandemic no one can understand, but everyone attempts to adapt to. This scale is exemplified by a global view and a wispy voice over from Susan explaining what humanity is capable of. When Susan and Michael are introduced, it is under dour circumstances; the mood is dark and their damaged pasts are briefly mentioned, but camera techniques and photo freeze frames are perhaps laid on a little thick and do not really work in the interim and are not utilized again. They meet each other sometime later, the proximity of his work to her home serving as a coincidence and excuse to find something in each other, and of course they do. It is all convenient and sensible until the pandemic hits.
Director David Mackenzie
certainly has a maverick background for romance tales (See Young Adam
, also with McGregor
), from his other films it is clear he enjoys a complex tale, and this is his most ambitiously cruel one to date. Yes the hope of humanity is there as the disease works in fits, extreme emotional outbursts from people follow the complete loss of a sense. We could probably live without smell if we so chose, but we really lose it when taste and hearing goes, understandably of course.
It is a miniature disaster tale, yes the 'disease' is wide-reaching but the film does not really focus on it asides from a few scenes of anarchy and empty streets. It stays relatively firm to Susan and Michael as they try to keep it all together. The fly on the wall observes them as one sense trumps another, which is effectively displayed by the increase in visual effects, or sound design, depending on the stage of their 'illness' and from their perspectives.Perfect Sense
has elements of Soderbergh's exhausting viral flick Contagion
minus the worldly view and convulsion of characters; it is tight-knit focusing on the two fated lovers and all the better for it, despite some distractions, in particular the thickly melancholic soundtrack and attempt to expand the story via images of the rest of the world (we get it McKenzie,
the two protagonists represent humanity fine). Perhaps love trumps all, and this is after-all the point, it does not reach the emotional high and exacerbated love for life it strives for but it sure is one intense love story enhanced by Green
's excellent chemistry.
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