Perfect Sense Movie Review

This high-concept apocalyptic thriller starts well, with a lush visual style and strong performances. But Danish screenwriter Aakeson immediately writes himself into a corner: the story and characters have nowhere to go beyond bleak acceptance of the inevitable. So it's difficult to care what happens.

A mysterious illness sweeps the world causing people to experience horrible grief before losing their sense of smell. This creates a challenge for Glasgow chef Michael (McGregor), but that's easy compared to the next epidemic: terror followed by the loss of taste. So with his assistant (Bremner), he experiments with temperature and texture to keep customers happy. Meanwhile, Michael falls for Susan (Green), an epidemiologist trying to figure out what's happening.

People are adjusting to the changes, but the next wave involves rage and hearing loss. How long can human resilience endure?

Mackenzie directs sensually, with visceral cinematography (by Giles Nuttgens), swelling music, moody montages and over-poetic narration. This helps make up for the low-energy plot, which relies on a sense of foreboding to push it forward. But without much tension, we pin our hope on the central romance to hold our interest. But it's too dull and awkward to grab our sympathies.

Oddly, believability isn't the problem. The superb actors create realistic characters who interact honestly and cope in intriguing ways. The screenplay also cleverly touches on government conspiracies, terrorism and environmental issues with news-style footage from all over the world. And the ways people adjust to the senses they have left add a glimmer of hope. Although instead of suspense we only feel dread about what's to come.

As a result, the narrative feels arbitrary and the film itself is merely interesting without engaging our emotions. By the time everyone experiences a sudden wave of euphoria, we know there are only two senses left to lose. At least the euphoria gives them a brief period of joy before the final horror sets in. But instead of giving us characters on a journey, we are only watching them shut down. And it's extremely frustrating to see such a gifted cast and crew create a beautiful film that hits a wall in its first act.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Malte Grunert

Comments

Perfect Sense Rating

" Weak "

Rating: 15, 2011

Advertisement

More Ewan Mcgregor

Mortdecai Trailer

Charlie Mortdecai may be rude, arrogant and distinctly unlikeable, but he's also a terribly rich English art dealer with a drop dead gorgeous wife, charming...

The House Of Magic Trailer

When Thunder is abandoned into the street by his owner as a kitten during a house move, he finds himself in the home of an...

August: Osage County Movie Review

Tracy Letts adapts his own prize-winning play into a blistering depiction of one of cinema's most dysfunctional families ever. It's still rather theatrical, throwing a...

'August: Osage County' Reviews Preoccupied With Adaptation Issues

August: Osage County appears to have all the qualities needed to make a movie to combat January blues: a stellar cast, strong female characters and...

Advertisement

Johnny Depp Goes Blonde For 'Mortdecai' Art Dealer Role [Pictures]

Johnny Depp has been spotted on the set of the upcoming crime movie Mordecai sporting a brutally waxed moustache, slicked blonde hair and a dashing...

Hugh Jackman Reminds Us All Why We Should Wear Sunscreen After Having Skin Cancer Cells Removed

Hugh Jackman had his wife to thank after a he discovered an unusual growth protruding from his nose. The actor revealed earlier this week that...

Don Cheadle To Play Miles Davis In 'Kill The Trumpet Player' Gangster Jazz Film

Don Cheadle is set to play jazz legend Miles Davis in an upcoming film focussing on the trumpeter's "silent period" alongside Ewan McGregor and Zoe...

Lynne Ramsay Sued By Movie Bosses After Ditching Natalie Portman Western

Lynne Ramsay is being taken to court by the producers of the oft-troubled Western Jane Got Her Gun, starring (supposedly at least) Natalie Portman. Ramsay...

Advertisement