Wednesday 22 June 2011

Perfect Sense

Susan is an epidemiologist who is investigating what looks like the emergence of a puzzling new disease (that may or may not be spread by environmental pollution) that is causing people to lose their emotional control and then to lose their sense of smell. Michael is a chef who works in the restaurant near where Susan lives in Glasgow. They begin an affair, as the disease spreads across the world, causing social unrest as people lose their senses.

I felt this film was much less satisfying than it could have been. There's a lot of voice-over, rather than letting the action speak for itself, which takes away from the drama. I also felt that although the epidemic was an effective metaphor for society's lack of awareness it wasn't a believable disease. Then even as the disease becomes obviously a major threat to humanity, the scientists (including Susan) entirely seem to lack any real sense of urgency in their research to find a cure (plus of course the use of lab animals is never going to go down well with me, though it was nice to see the rabbits finally escape).

What I particularly did like was how people responded to losing their senses. The restaurant started to present foods in ways that emphasized their textures, colours and presentation. People also seemed remarkably quickly to become fluent in sign language and started to value their remaining senses more. People were overall committed to living as well as they could in the circumstances, though again, like the scientists, no-one seemed to want to address the problem (and that's a very real metaphor for a lot of the problems the world faces at the moment.

However despite the interesting ideas, overall, Perfect Sense doesn't deliver on its promise.

I saw a press screening of this film at Edinburgh International Film Festival. There are no more screenings of this film at the festival, but it should get British release soon.

As ever, red text in this post, contains hyperlinks that will take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


Gabrielle Bryden said...

The sensory stuff sounds interesting - thanks for the review.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Always disappointing when a movie does not deliver, but as you say the ideas were good.
Thanks for sharing the reviews.

Happy day

Bill said...

Don't know if this one will make it to our shores. Movie criticism? Egad, woman, is there nothing you can't do?

Hannah Stephenson said...

Oooh--I haven't heard of this film. So fun@