When I read the synopsis for _Perfect Sense_, I was expecting an apocalyptic romance. I was wrong. Such a description is too neat. This is more than escapist entertainment. It is an experience to be savored.Its story is deceptively simple. It weaves a richer fabric than any casual touch will detect. Those who think its central device capricious the disease and its development give themselves too much credit for discerning the logic of their own lives. An illness may seem to follow no obvious or satisfying plot, but who can say whether any "misfortune" fails to follow a narrative <more>
too subtle for the prejudice of those who feel injured by it? Those who require every story to have a tidy, forensic resolution, with an indictable perpetrator for every ordeal, on whom they can unleash their outrage in order to achieve "closure," are the victims of their own narrow interpretation. Most pain is not conspiracy. The shared affliction of this story is poetic metaphor; however, like most good art, this film is about its characters, not its literary devices.The cast's performances are not only authentic, they are illuminating; particularly Ewan McGregor's and Eva Green's central couple. Were they mere victims, their story would be hopeless tragedy. Instead, theirs is the account of an ordinary and vulnerable man and woman with extraordinary resilience, who attack, then embrace each other, stumbling over their circumstances as they learn to transcend them.**A Brief Response to ArizWldcat's One-star Review**If those at the premiere who asked questions after the screening during the Q&A are a representative sample of the audience, few of Mr. Mackenzie's viewers got the "point" of his film. One person asked the director what message or meaning he hoped we, his audience, would take from his film. He looked nonplussed at this question. He responded that the viewer had to answer that for himself.It seems that Mr./Ms. ArizWldcat was one of those who expected this film to be easily categorized and to reaffirm a specific, pre-determined view of the world, such as a feel-good romance or a psychological thriller. The guy gets the girl and they save the world in the process, all portrayed through a predictably formulaic sequence of events. Everyone lives happily ever after. By those prerequisites, we would also be forced to give _Hamlet_ or _Citizen Kane_ one out of ten stars._Perfect Sense_ is a film whose "point" is not to make its audience comfortable or to provide the adrenaline buzz of a "thriller." Its purpose is to portray authentic human experience in an impossible situation. It did so admirably. It is one of the most hopeful films I have ever seen.
The Most Terrifying Film I've seen in Years! (by giggedyguy)
Yes, it's a romantic film. There's a lot of light-hearted stuff in the mix. But the concept of what inevitably will happen and the events mapping the way were frightening to me. I had a very present fear that the same thing could happen to me, silly as that sounds. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach at the end.My roommate and I watched this and Contagion on the same night. Compared to this, Contagion was a let down and almost boring--not denying that it was a really good film, it just wasn't as polished. Perfect Sense had so much STYLE and kept us glued to the screen. <more>
It was so entertaining! I think it's my favorite "world might be ending" movie of all time. I've never been so satisfied by a film of this genre before.
"There is darkness. There is light. There are men and women. There's food. There are restaurants. Disease. There is work. Traffic. The days as we knew them. The world as we imagine the world." That's the epic intro.After watching the movie, you will start to realize the things we do and the things we don't do. The conclusion will be to start taste the joy, hear the colors and see the sun. The acting by Ewan McGregor and Eva Green is fitting very well to the plot. I think 2012 will be a good year for BBC films.A perfect way to start 2012!
Strong film (by synevy)
I wouldn't want to say a lot about the story. Perfect Sense is a film you have to see, taste, smell, listen. It's not a Contagion - like movie, it's not a zombie one either, but it could definitely be a post - apocalyptic reality check.We could, but we wouldn't want to imagine something like that happening, yet again "what if". How strong is the human heart and mind and how could we adapt in such a massive change? This film might suggest a hint.Ewan McGregor plays a chef that somehow gets involved with Eva Green, a scientist. Then, all that matters is how these two <more>
characters cope with an epidemic that bursts, depriving people their senses.I found this film quite enlightening, the performances intense, the music appropriate and, last but not least, the photography/ filming magnificent. Great work from the director David Mackenzie. The end was mind blowing, for me.Keep an open mind, look at the big picture and it'll be worth your time.
There's no point rehashing what many of the other reviews say. I will tell you the one thing that matters: I've only ever cried over 3 movies, 1st when ET died I was like 8 , 2nd at the end of Ice Castles again, I think I was 8 -- bad year , and finally at the end of this movie. I cried for 30 minutes. Then my wife wanted to watch the ending again because she missed something and I cried again. I don't know why this movie touched me so deeply but it did. You feel for the characters, you fear for what happens next. When the screen goes blank at the end, you fear for what will <more>
become of them. This was a powerful film and I highly recommend it.
Of all the senses, smell most strongly connects us to memory and the past. Taste locks us into the present. Hearing and sight help us navigate through the world. It is touch, however, that connects us intimately to each other."Perfect Sense' presents a pre-apocalyptic event, the loss, on a global scale, of the senses one by one. Michael and Susan are flawed individuals, a chef and a doctor, carrying their scars and regrets through Glasgow's world of bright young things, two individuals who find each other just as the world loses everything.Eva Green as Susan is instantly <more>
charismatic, a strong-willed, demanding woman who sets high standards because she knows she deserves it. At the same time, she fears no one can live up to her demands. McGregor gets to test his range as Michael, going through women like short-orders in his kitchen, with just as much attention and interest. When he meets his match in Susan, he has to face that he has found what he has been looking for all his life, and now a pandemic will take it away. His loss proves the most profoundly moving element of the film.McKenzie films Glasgow in glory and decay, making wonderful use of water and reflected light as he did in Young Adam. The hard jar of the camera on a bicycle sans steadicam is a brave choice, but it draws your attention to visual sense and foreshadows the losses about to fall. Before each sense is lost there is a brief intense burning of that sense. This is most effectively portrayed in a canny use of sound when Susan stops the car, winds down the window, and the cacophony of sound in our world, starting with church bells and extending to screeching parrots, rushes in on the two silent, fearful lovers.There is one missed beat, when Susan takes the huff because of what Michael says in his virus-induced rage before losing a sense. With the world coming to an end all around you, it stretches credulity to think she'd throw a strop over some bilious comments - especially as a medic. But it does set up a beautiful denouement, the lovers desperately searching for reconciliation as the world gradually, then suddenly, stops functioning.This is a moving film, a thought-provoking one, about love, connection, and all the things we take for granted. An antidote to bombastic, finger-wagging fare such as Day After Tomorrow, it earns your tears at several moments. Quite possibly Mackenzie's best film to date.
I don't know where to start, but it was quite an eye opener, since civilization began there are certain things that we take for granted, The basic things like our senses you will only realise it when you lose them.... as they say "Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are".. To understand the true beauty of life, you need to know what being alive is all about. After watching the movie I felt that it answered some of my questions... I think everyone should watch this movie... you might find it a bit slow phased but believe me it's a ride worth <more>
going for.... Ewan McGregor has done a marvellous job and so did Eva Green, the direction is flawless and it moves like poetry. Please watch this movie....
A science fiction romantic tragedy (by kennethfrank)
Perfect Sense tells a relentlessly depressing story within several categories. It does very well what it sets out to do, which is to explore a deep romantic relationship within a frightening imagined scenario in which people gradually lose their different senses. The very idea is a challenge to film-making that required ingenuity and creativity to create. On balance the film makers have done an absorbing and fairly convincing job. The acting is excellent. However, the footage of events outside of the British Isles seemed contrived and did not integrate well with the quality of the local <more>
shooting. The movie respects your thoughtful attention but does not offer relief from its bleakness.
The wonder of "Perfect Sense" is that, by exaggerating the notion of sensory compensation, it allows us to bypass the roadblocks of scientific accuracy or lack thereof and focus intently on the poignant core of the story. Sensory compensation has by and large been romanticized for the blind, namely in the thinking that the loss of sight would automatically heighten a person's ability to hear. As a fable, this movie shows not the slightest interest in what new research on that subject suggests. Instead, it confronts us with a scenario that may not be likely or even possible but <more>
still has the power to register emotionally. It poses several important questions. How would an individual cope with the gradual loss of all but one sense? How would society cope if these losses were on a global scale? What does it mean to live and love under this particular set of circumstances?The answer to the last question resonates strongest of all, and it will continue to resonate long after the film is over. Whether or not it ends on an optimistic note is open for debate. What is evident at that point is a profound sense of peace and acceptance. One could even interpret it as happiness. The challenge is not to understand what the filmmakers are feeling, but to actually feel it as they do. There's no question that the story is elegiac, and yet I believe we're given reason to hope, for we know that people are capable of the most astounding changes, even in the throes of unimaginable hardship. The final line of dialogue, provided by narrator Kathryn Engels, exemplifies the notion that perception shapes reality, especially in the face of tragedy. You can either be defeated by it or learn to adapt. You can also die trying, which, in its own somber way, is still a victory.Taking place in Scotland, the story is set against the backdrop of an international pandemic of sensory loss. Is it a virus? A toxin? Is it airborne? Is it contagious? No one can pinpoint a cause, and it spreads too quickly for anyone to discover a cure. The condition is such a mystery that only its stages are designated names. The first few are long-winded medical terms; the last one is a simple, honest, direct term that, in all likelihood, only the audience is privy to. Two characters will meet. One is Susan Eva Green , an epidemiologist who has had rotten luck with men. The other is Michael Ewan McGregor , a chef who has no trouble having sex and yet cannot sleep with another person in his bed. They fall in love, although the process will repeatedly change as their senses are robbed one by one.Each loss is preceded by uncontrollable physical and emotional reactions. Overwhelming despair and hysterical crying indicates that you will lose the ability to smell. A primal hunger signals the end of taste. I really do mean primal; people the world over are suddenly struck with an unruly, almost zombie-like urge to greedily consume anything and everything in sight, from raw meat to flowers to live animals to jars of mayonnaise to jugs of cooking oil to tubes of lipstick. Rage and brute force mark the loss of hearing. Just before blindness sets in, you're caught up in the revelry of unbridled happiness. We watch as people smile broadly, hug unreservedly, laugh with their friends and family, play joyful games, let go of their mature inhibitions, and simply appreciate the simple pleasures of being alive.Each stage is surprisingly compelling in the way it reveals humanity's resilience. They naturally begin in a state of chaos, but they soon lead to a period of adjustment and eventually to complete acceptance. The most fascinating scenes take place after the loss of taste. All restaurants, including Michael's, remain open, for people have learned to appreciate food in an entirely new way. It's no longer about flavor; it's about savoring the textures and absorbing the sounds of crunching and snapping and biting. It's about the ambient noises of glasses clinking and silverware hitting ceramic plates. For Susan and Michael, the loss of taste has brought their relationship to a sensuous new level. They don't simply make love, they engage in an orgy of tactile pleasure. When they bathe, they explore new oral possibilities by nibbling a bar of soap and lapping up shaving lather.When deafness sets in, director David Mackensie adds interest by killing all sound, including Max Richter's score, for several minutes. Like the characters, we can only react to visual stimuli – with the disheartening certainty that even they will soon be gone forever. It's obvious that smell, taste, sound, and sight are not absolutely necessary in order to love someone. But are they necessary for survival? "Perfect Sense" does not attempt to directly answer this question. It does, however, provide us with the hope that such a thing is possible. Simultaneously, it states that, even if it isn't possible, people can still die content, for they know that they were loved. In either case, a positive message has been sent. Positive on the basis of my perception, at least. I don't presume to know or even ask what your perception is.-- Chris Pandolfi www.atatheaternearyou.net