July 16th, 2008

amd: king kong voyeur

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

K. and I watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer last night. For some reason, I had assumed it was going to be one of those lush costume dramas about annoying aristocrats with a story that was vague at best. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was fantastic. It tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a poor and exploited 18th century orphan who is born with an uncanny sense of smell. His gift quickly becomes an obsession and his quest to create the ultimate perfume makes him a monster. I won't say any more except that I've never seen a piece of magical realism that was so haunting and horrifying. Director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) even gives the art of perfumery itself a fascinating, alchemical depiction that reeks of mad science.