When I was doing my post the other day – about fragrances that have been important to me through the years (scents of a woman) and I used one of the tracks from this movie – I thought I have to do a post about the movie too. Here it’s!
“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” is a German 2006 thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer.
Critics’ reviews of the film were mixed; the consensus was that the film had strong cinematography and acting but suffered from an uneven screenplay.
The film got in total 12 wins & 13 nominations, but even if 5 nominations to Oscars = nothing. Based on the bestselling novel by Patrick Süskind.
“In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift: an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs.
But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. He apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of extracting the scent from precious oils and herbs. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the most powerful perfume in the world – made of the scent of young virgins. He learns that the only method to preserve her innocence and fresh beauty will require murder.
Plaguing the countryside with a series of gruesome killings, Grenouille must stay one step ahead of the authorities until he captures the final ingredient for his greatest perfume — the essence of a beautiful redheaded girl whose wealthy father earnestly protects her. Only then, he believes, will he earn the attention and adulation that his extraordinary talent deserves.” (text; goodreads.com)
My favorite actor, Alan Rickman plays Antonie Richis, Laura’s protected father – that dream that his daughter is being killed. Beside Ben as Grenouille does Alan the strongest performance. Dustin Hoffman is not totally convincing as “le parfumeur” in Grasse that takes Grenouille on as his apprentice.
I think Ben Whishaw is just brilliant it the part as the very odd Jean-Baptieste Grenouille – poor Ben I don’t think he had a shower or a bath during the whole making of the movie – so dirty in every scene – but on the other hand didn’t Grenouille’s body create any odor.
Grenouille totally kills 24 virgins in the book – but a lot less in the movie.
Ben Whishaw – Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
Rachel Hurd-Wood – Laura
Karoline Herfurth – The Plum Girl
Alan Rickman – Antoine Richis
Dustin Hoffman – Giuseppe Baldini
Simon Chandler – Mayor of Grasse
John Hurt – Narrator (voice)
I haven’t read the book and most people who have, are disappointed on the movie – so I had nothing to compare with and I really enjoyed it. I found the story disturbing, beautiful, sad, romantic, macabre, sensual and fascinating.
Not a movie for the faint hearted – I started to watch it twice – before I finally watched the full movie and I so glad I did, because it’s a fantastic movie and beautiful too. There are no yucky murder scenes in the movie – he are attracted to and like the young women, so most killing is done gently.
The most macabre is the finale scenes of the movie – just so brilliant and of course the end is perfect for the storyline, nothing upsetting about the scene at all. – just wonderful wired.
I highly recommend this romantic and sensual thriller and fantasy.
We also have the beautiful soundtrack to this movie, composed by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimer & Reinhold Heil, and performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. A soundtrack that never got any recognition by critics – but has very high reviews from its buyers. I personal love it. Tom Tykwer is also the director of this movie, born in 1965 in Wuppertal, Germany.
“He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men.”
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer