Perfect Sense Review
An apocalyptic film where the human race lose all five of their senses? Why has no one ever come up with an idea like this before? When you think about it, it’s a truly brilliant idea. Rather than taking out the human race through some virus, the simple act of losing each of our senses will bring the human race to a halt. Day of the Triffids begins to tackle the idea of what blindness would do to humanity. But that’s just one sense. When you throw in no sense of touch, taste, smell or hearing, you begin to realise that we would seriously be screwed.
Which is why I think it’s a shame that this movie didn’t do more with the premise. Every time I think about Perfect Sense, I find myself wishing the idea could have been better explored. In fact, there are really only two reasons Perfect Sense scores a 3/5 instead of 2.5/5 and that’s because of the unique premise, and because I still liked it better than Prometheus which I did give a 2.5/5.
Perfect Sense, despite starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, is a small film. Sometimes I think it’s a small film that tries to be bigger than it is, and ultimately, that’s where it fails. The story follows Michael (a chef) and Susan (an epidemiologist) as they meet and fall in love as society crumbles around them.
The heart of the movie is very human. It shows how life goes on, even as mankind begins to lose all of their senses, one by one. And Perfect Sense tells that story rather well, particularly through Michael who, as a chef, must scramble to change the way in which they serve food when everyone loses their sense of smell, and then taste. Suddenly the look of the food has to be emphasized, and the sound, such as the snapping sound of a cracker being broken. Instead of taste, people go out to dinner to enjoy texture.
On a relationship level, Michael and Susan have to find new ways to be together as their senses disappear. Up until the end, it’s rather hopeful, in that, even though everything is falling down all around them, life still goes on. Although I do have to say that once all your senses are gone, I’d say hope goes out the window, but perhaps I’m being glass half-empty.
What the movie does less well is tell the bigger story. The reason for the senses disappearing is never explained, which I don’t really have a problem with as such. However, I found it odd that Susan was written as an epidemiologist, since we learn literally nothing about the epidemic through her, and her character is shown to do very little except wait around.
Also, in an attempt to show the impact on the world, the movie features numerous splices of documentary footage shown with a very sombre voice over, which really just didn’t work for me. They were slightly pretentious, and made the tone of the film feel uneven. I much preferred the scenes on the streets of Glasgow as authorities attempt to keep order in the increasing chaos.
Unfortunately, too much focus is given to the love story which felt distinctly lacking. I’m not sure if you would call it a lack of chemistry, but it certainly felt distanced and lacking any real human connection, despite the fact that that’s what the whole film is supposed to be about.
Overall, Perfect Sense is a film with an interesting premise that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be.