Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
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25-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Has anyone seen the 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer? It's based on a German novel from 1985 called Das Parfum. The story is about a man born in late 18th century France with such a powerful olfactory sense that he can literally smell the "essence" of the people and things (clothes, food, animals, etc.) around him. He considers this smell to be a person's soul. He longs to preserve such smells, so he trains under an Italian perfumist to learn how to capture the smells of flowers and the like. He applies what he learns to capturing the essences of beautiful women in a murderous fashion. He then combines their essences into a heavenly perfume. I won't go any further because I don't want to spoil the ending. Here is a trailer:

YouTube - Perfume - the Story of a Murderer

The sets, costumes, and cinematography are gorgeous. The peasantry is displayed in all its grimy glory, and the upper crust is powdered and primed. When in the market, you can almost smell the rotting fish and the mud and the manure. When in an aristocrat’s house, you can almost smell the perfume and powered wigs. The film makers use an interesting technique I like to call “Smell-o-vision” to convey the main character’s olfactory powers. For instance, he lies on the ground as a child and breaths in deeply, verbally calling out what he smells as the camera travels over the landscape, around rocks, and down into a pond where a frog is laying eggs. There is another scene where he is trying to track down a perspective victim who left town. He breaths in, and the camera travels over the hills and valleys until it focuses in on the girl.

The film is rather long at 147 minutes. It has copious nudity, and their are some scenes that squeamish viewers may not like, such as the main character smelling every inch of a woman's nude body after he accidentally killed her.
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