Monday, November 19, 2007

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer tells the tale of a young man named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who aspires to be a master perfume maker. Grenouille works in a tannery when he convinces an old has been played by Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman's character is the one shining light in this film. It is too bad there isn't more for him to do.

Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) eventually makes the Hoffman character rich and famous again, but with the one condition that he receives a letter designating him as a journeyman perfume maker so he can get a job in the glamorous town of Grasse. The problem is that Grenouille wants to save all the wonderful smells of the world and what could be more wonderful than the scent of a beautiful woman?

Grenouille's arrival in Grasse begins with the glance of such a gal played by Rachel Hurd-Wood. Her father (Alan Rickman) finds out that woman are starting to disappear all over town and instantly wants to look out for his daughter since she is the fairest in the land.

Perfume was directed and cowritten by Tom Tykwer who brought us the misguided Heaven and the overrated Run Lola Run (yes I said it-there isn't enough story to fill up a 30 min sitcom). Obviously... Tykwer has talent in the overall mechanisms in shooting a film and a sense of cinematography. The mistake in Perfume that perhaps can be traced to the source material of the novel of the same name. The third act is quite possibly the worst thing I've ever seen for an ending. Maybe in a lyrical way it fits the book whose tone I'm not familiar with, but as a choice for where this film should go based on the first 110 minutes it fails miserably... it feels like a lazy cop-out.


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