Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Perfume: This Movie Doesn't Stink.

Being a guy, It's really hard for me to get excited about a movie when it's named Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

The title brings thoughts of beautiful women - circa the time of Marie Antoinette - spraying themselves with perfume and giggling about men all the while rolling around in a plush bed in nothing but their cotton panties.

Well, come to think of it, that doesn't sound too bad either.

In any event, I rented the movie twice before at Blockbuster. And twice I returned it after seven days of collecting dust on the top of my DVD player.

Time and time again, I just couldn't bring myself to watch it. I just thought I'd be bored out of my skull.

So imagine my surprise when I reluctantly rented it for a third time, popped it in the DVD player and, finally, watched it this past Sunday.

In short, it's one of the most original, creative movies I've seen in some time.

The movie is about this guy, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who is born - very graphically - in the stench of 18th-century Paris. Due to the nasty smells around him, he develops this superior sense of smell, which he uses to create the world's finest perfumes.

That's the first part of the movie.

The second part of the movie takes a turn for the morbid as he tries to create the ultimate perfume by preserving the various scents of beautiful women. Beautiful dead women.

I don't want to give away the ending. If you read the book, I'm sure it's the exact same way. But it's an insanly perfect ending to a beautifully creepy movie. To be honest, I couldn't think of any other way wrap up the movie up so tightly.

After watching the movie - which starred Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman (of Harry Potter Snape fame) - the credits started to roll and I recognized the name of the director, Tom Tykwer.

I remembered the name, but I couldn't put a finger on the previous movie he directed. So I rushed over to IMDB and typed in his name.

Turns out, it was Run Lola Run.

I haven't really been keeping tabs on Tykwer's work since the success of Run Lola Run. I knew he did The Princess and the Warrior, starring the girl who played Lola, which I didn't see. (Once again, I rented it, but never watched it). Then he made this other movie called Heaven, which I've never even heard of.

He also directed a short in Paris Je t'aime, which is a movie comprised of 10 minute shorts directed by the best in the business including the Coen Brothers, Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant among others. He's also in pre-production for another movie called The International starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.

Coincidentally, Perfume's cinematographer - Frank Griebe - has worked on all of Tykwer's movies. He does some pretty amazing, and creative, stuff with the lens in both movies.

I'm not sure if there's a moral to this story. I guess it would be don't judge a movie by its title -or its cover for that matter. Because you never know what you're going to get.

Also, this movie makes me want to get reacquianted with some of his other work.

The sad thing was, on Sunday, when I rented this movie, all eight copies of Perfume were available and accounted for.

Then I glanced over at Wild Hogs, the God-awful biker comedy with Tim Allen, John Travolta, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence. About 30 copies were missing from the shelves.

Surprised? I'm not.

Some will say it's boring. Some will say it's weird. Some will say it's the stupidest movie they've every seen. Some will say it's too long.

All I can say is put down that copy of Wild Hogs and take this movie for a test drive instead.

Who knows? You may be pleasantly surprised.


cbrown said...

Muh-OOO-veee REE-views? Hey Pal, I come hear to read about turds.

I am appalled.

Your Finest Eimer said...

I would call it an UBER-review. Half review/Half story.

Plus, I like to use the word UBER.

cbrown said...

I do agree about the ONE movie on Blockbuster's shelves that is worth a damn being overlooked while Rush Hour 3 is all checked out...