PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER 4 ½ FOR AUDACITY 2 ½ CONTENT 3 ½ OVERALL
This is the strangest movie of the year. Directed by Run Lola Run director Tom Tywer and based on the best selling novel by Patrick Süskind Perfume is the story of a serial killer who is obsessed by smell. Born into the slums of 18th century Paris he becomes an expert perfume maker, but his overdeveloped olfactory sense pushes him to a darker place. He kills women to harvest their scent in the demented hopes of making the ultimate perfume.
This is a big budget, ambitious film that manages to capture the novel’s world of scent and smell. It is a strange story, chock full of abrupt changes in tone, magic realism and characters who appear and disappear just as quickly.
The novel was long considered unfilmable—many directors tried to crack the material, including Ridley Scott, Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese, Milos Forman and Stanley Kubrick—but Tykwer has managed to capture the wonky spirit of the book with a vision that is vivid and disturbing. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer isn’t for everyone, but will satisfy adventurous viewers.