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'Perfume' is a terrifying story of murder and obsession set in 18th-century France. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille came into the world unwanted, expected to die, yet born with an unnerving sense of smell that created alienation as well as talent. 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, 12 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.
Tykwer squeezes every possible drop of melodramatic beauty out of this material. ...But the gorgeous visuals aren't enough to keep the drama from occasionally degenerating into beautifully produced hokum.
Tykwer, best known for the ultramodern chase movie Run Lola Run, would seem an unusual choice for a period film, but he infuses the sometimes stately story with vigor; though well past two and a half hours, it never feels long.
Tykwer loses his cinematic grip when he tries to blend murder and piety. In his hands, the two don't emulsify.
January 11, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Hated this movie. Hated it.
January 08, 2007
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never tries to make Jean-Baptiste sympathetic but he's not rendered monstrous, either: He just is a victim of a passion larger and more powerful than any one man can handle.