Film Review: Perfume

29 Dec




Plot: Based on the bestselling novel by Patrick Süskind, “Perfume” is a story of murder and obsession set in 18th-century France. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille has a unique talent for discerning the scents and smells that swirl around him, which he uses to create the world’s finest perfumes. Strangely lacking any scent of his own, he becomes obsessed with capturing the irresistible but elusive aroma of young womanhood. As Grenouille’s obsession turns deadly, twelve young girls are found murdered. Panic breaks out as people rush to protect their daughters, while an unrepentant and unrelenting Grenouille still lacks the final ingredient to complete his quest.


If I could describe the film adaptation of this book in one word, then that’s the word I would use. I was one of those alongside the late Stanley Kubrick (talk about being in good company) who felt that there is no way this genius and creative wonder of a novel can be filmed, there is just a limit of how visually you can present it in celluloid but they managed to hurdle that obstacle. I thought the narration by John Hurt was remarkable as it added to the beautiful prose of the book itself for if you hadnt read it before seeing the movie, you will be lost with the mindset of Grenouille. Stunningly directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, True) it’s a faithful adaptation of Suskind’s novel and is definitely one of this year’s best. The great discovery here is the actor who played the doomed Grenouille, British talent Ben Whishaw previously seen in films like Layer Cake, Enduring Love. I was torn whether to hate or pity Grenouille but Whishaw’s performance though menacing was just perfect.

I highly recommend this film if you want to see something different. Definitely not for the fainthearted.

Perfume: 4/5

11 Responses to “Film Review: Perfume”

  1. pedro73 January 1, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    I disagree with Kubrick. Though I read the book decades ago (ohhhh LOL) I think the film is quite an excellent example of how to bring literature to the screen.

    Like Lolita, from Kubrick, Everyone said it was impossible, but the genius did it. So no offense, Mr. K, but you were wrong.

    Nevertheless, I agree with Simone. This is a must-see for anyone who wants intelligent cinema instead of dragons, drunken cops and boring doccumentaries.

  2. Simone January 1, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    Or having to see another remake!

  3. shang January 2, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    where’s my boooooooooook? /=(

  4. Simone January 2, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    You just have to be patient!!! Is it showing in the Philippines by any chance?

  5. shang January 3, 2007 at 1:57 pm #

    no idea. no posters and trailers yet.

  6. Simone January 3, 2007 at 2:04 pm #

    To see the trailer, go here:

  7. Simone January 8, 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    This is great! Ben Whishaw has been nominated for the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award. The other nominees are, Cillian Murphy, Eve Green, Emily Blunt and Naomie Harris.

    Give it to either Whishaw, Murphy or Green I’d say!

  8. Tams January 12, 2007 at 9:30 pm #

    Bought the book at Uni 15 years ago and it is one of those rare ones that I have actually read and re-read. So amazed that on a Friday night in early January the Cinema was nearly empty! Mind you Beatrix Potter marketing seems to have eclipsed it somewhat so something went wrong there. ….However, would I have gone to see i if I hadn’t read the book? probably not! Hadn’t seen the trailer either until afterwards – thought it gave too much away. One thing that did annoy me though – the murdered women were said to be beauties – you’re joking aren’t you!

    A beautiful film, truly artistic and Ben Whishaw an inspired choice!

  9. Simone January 13, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    Hey Tams, I really want Whishaw to get that Rising Star award.

  10. adolfo February 5, 2007 at 4:33 am #

    When is the perfume showing in the philippines????

  11. Simone February 6, 2007 at 6:21 pm #

    Hey Adolfo, I wouldnt have a clue . Thanks for dropping by though. 🙂

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