Ah… What a beautiful poster. That is my first impression when I saw this big standee in front of the cinema. I am still wondering what movie it was at the point of time since I am watching Meet the Robinsons. The name Perfume with such an artistic poster capture my attention.
When I look at the bottom, the sentence “from the director of Run Lola Run”, I know I couldn’t miss it out. And of course it is an excellent choice. Something I would love to say it’s cool. If you are in Malaysia, I would suggest you wait for the uncensored version DVD to come out. Right… lots of nudity, and I mean lots.
Spoiler begins here.
———————————————————————————————————————– A movie set in the 18th century Paris, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is an adaptation from the best selling novel by Patrick SÃ¼skind. This movie is extensively narrated by John Hurt. The story begins with the scene whereby Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) is being jailed for mudering more than a dozen woman and will be sentence to death and executed soon. Before so, he was brought to the public and the verdict is being read out loud. The public was cheering happily when they heard the cruel punishment Grenouille will go through before death.
The movie then flashback to a dirty, smelly little town in Paris. Yes, notted for being the smelliest town where lots of fish monger settles. Grenouille was born underneath a fish stall, the same place his mother give birth to his 6 other siblings. However they were born and left there to die together with all the fish disposables. However, being different from the rest, Grenouille takes a deep breath and started to cry. Little does he know, his first cry caused him his mother’s life. His mother was sentence to death for trying to kill Grenouille by leaving him to die.
Grenouille was then being sent to an orphanage. When Grenouille first arrive at the packed orphanage, the children sense something different in this baby boy and tries to kill it. However, Grenouille was saved in time. As he grew up, everyone started to stay away from him. Not that they hated him, but they are just plain afraid of his actions. Grenouille would just pick up anything and everything and smell it. By the age of 5, Grenouille could not speak a word but he could identify lots of smell.. so many smell that some even words couldn’t describe.
As years goes by, Grenouille grew up to have cravings for smell.. any smell as long as they are new smells. That is all he is asking for. The orphanage he is staying in no longer can afford keeping him there. He was then sold as a slave to a place whereby they produce animal skin. There… he work hard, very hard. Normal boy would last a year or two in such places but Grenouille proves to be different. Whenever he have the time, he would sit by the side and look at the city opposite the river.
His chance came when the owner decided to bring Grenouille to town. There, Grenouille was so excited as he could smell a lot of different scent… so many different type of scent he have never smell before. It seems like a whole new world to him. He would walk around the street and savour all the smell he could inhale.
He finally discover the origin of the scent after searching high and low. The scent was actually from a red hair girl who sells plums. Grenouille tries to inhale her smell from close and this scares her. The girl tries to scream and Grenouille quickly muffles her when he notice someone else is around. When the people left, he notices the red hair girl stop moving or making a sound and found her dead. Grenouille then tore open her dress and try to smell every part of the girl only to notice the perfect scent fades of as the girl died.
Later that night, his owner beat him up badly for leaving his sight. However Grenouille never mind a bit as he can never get over the fact that he lost hold of such a perfect scent. His life is then devoted to find and keep the perfect scent.
Giuseppe Baldini (Dustin Hoffman) is one of the perfumer in Paris. He used to be one of the famous perfumer… however he lost touch with scents as grew older. A once popular perfume shop is now left empty. Chenier (Timothy Davies), Baldini’s helper tries to help him solve his problems when the mayor in Paris asked Baldini to create a replica of the “Amor & Psyche” fragrance for him to use in an event. Troubled by the fact of not knowing the ingrediants and it’s formula, Baldini locks himself up at his working space and start to analyze and study the fragrance.
Baldini’s effort meets a dead end when he could not figure out some of the ingredients used in the “Amor & Psyche” fragrance. At that point of time Grenouille drop by sending animal skins to Baldini. He then asked Baldini if he wants to make the skin smell better and mention that “Amor & Psyche” isn’t a good perfume as it is a little too strong in certain ways. Baldini was shocked wondering how Grenouille would know he was analyzing the “Amor & Psyche”.
Grenouille then pick and choose and hinted out all the ingredients use to create the fragrance. It very much shocked Baldini. Grenouille then asked Baldini to take him as apprentice as he sees this as a good opportunity to learn methods to preserve smell. Being ego, Baldini insulted Grenouille stating that having a sharp nose and can tell what ingrediants used is not good enough. Experience and formula is the keyword.
Disappointed and felt challanged, Grenouille asked for a chance to create the “Amor & Psyche” with his own method. Baldini then agrees to let him try but was out of faith when he sees how Grenouille just throws everything together without even measuring them and making it at some methods Baldini never thought could work. Grenouille then pass what he had made to Baldini, and to Baldini’s surprise… it smell exactly like “Amor & Psyche”.
Grenouille then tell Baldini that the “Amor & Psyche” is not a perfect fragrant and made a few adjustments to it and ask Baldini to try it. Baldini then ask Grenouille to leave the bottle and leave as he needs time to digest and think about things. Grenouille kept asking Baldini to take him in as he leaves the place. When Grenouille left, Baldini opens the bottle and smell it. It was almost like paradise.
The following day, Baldini went to where Grenouille work and bought him over. There, Grenouille helped Baldini creates new perfume with only one condition. Grenouille would create a lot of great perfumes for Baldini but Baldini must promise to teach him the ways to preserve smell.
With Grenouille’s help, Baldini become a famous perfumer in Paris once again. Baldini then teaches Grenouille the basics of a perfume telling him like music, perfume have notes, 4 scent as the base, 4 scent for the start of the scent and 4 scent to end the scent whereby there is a legend stating there are the 13th ingrediant that creates the most perfect perfume in the world. It is said that back in the Egpytian times, some people have smell the perfect scent.. they could identify the 12 ingrediants.. but no one know what is the 13th ingrediant.
Besides teaching Grenouille that, Baldini also shows Grenouille the distillation process whereby Baldini showed how tons and tons of fresh rose is processed only to create a few ml of fragrant oil. Right after Grenouille learn the method, he secretly tries it when Baldini is sleeping. Awaken by the noise at the basement, Baldini saw Grenouille in frustration mode. He walks over trying to ask Grenouille what happened.
Grenouille was angry and called Baldini a liar when he fails to captur the scent of glass, steal and even Baldini’s cat. Upon his failure, Grenouille falls ill with small pox. Baldini was worried as he is too greedy and wanted to get more out of Grenouille. Baldini then told Grenouille that there are other method that can capture the scent of objects. However this method is only used in Grasse, a town whereby all prefumer must work and learn there.
Upon hearing the news, Grenouille recovers in a speedy. Grenouille needs travel papers in order to go to Grasse. Baldini promise to write those travel papers for Grenouille if he agrees to give him 100 perfume formulas. Grenouille never mind a bit as he could even give Baldini 1000 formula if only he will write him the papers. Grenouille then left Paris and head to Grasse.
Baldini on the other hand is very happy with the formulas that Grenouille provide him and hug them to sleep. However he never woke up ever since when his house mysteriously plunge into the river below. Grenouille then carry on his way to Grasse. In the middle of the way, he found this cave which he hide there for years. Yes, he finally found a place which is calm and have no other scent as it was a cave of dead rocks.
He slept and rested there for years when suddenly he woke up after having a bad dream. He soon notice he have no scent of his own and this starts to scare him. He then speed up his way to Grasse knowing he has wasted a lot of time. When he reach Grasse, he catches a scent similar to the perfect scent he get from the red hair girl in Paris. This time, it was a scent from another red hair girl, Laure (Rachel Hurd-Wood), daughter of Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman), the second consul and the richest man in Grasse.
Grenouille knows he would have to learn the method of keeping the scent before he do anything stupid and lost the scent again. Hence, Grenouille begins to learn from a widow perfumer, Madame Arnulfi (Corinna Harfouch) who inherited her perfume business from her late husband. Durot (Paul Berrondo) is Madame Arnulfi’s journeyman and also lover. Grenouille stands out from the rest and Madame Arnulfi alays praise him for being delicate and passionate about his work. Durot felt threaten hence he always pick on Grenouille.
There, Grenouille killed one of his fellow colleague and tries to keep her scent using the marceration method. However he fails. He then walk down the street to look for a hooker. He decided to pay her to let her try coating her with animal fat while trying the enfleurage method. The hooker quickly rejected Grenouille. Anger by rejection and curious to know the outcome, Grenouille killed her and tries the enfleurage method on her. It was proven to work.
After that, Grenouille is all set to gather all the best scent to create the PERFECT perfume. He started killing all the beautiful virgin girls to collect their scent as the base of his perfume. Everyone in the town of Grasse was terrified when they know a murderer is set loose. The murderer would kill the town’s most beautiful girls, leaving them naked with all their hair cut off.
The people starts to worry as their theory of the girls being raped was proven wrong when they all show no evidence of being raped. Antoine Richis soon see the pattern and starts to worry when a men the government caught who claim to admits to the killing in Grasse was actually not the true murderer. He decides to leave town with her daughter and brought her to a nearby inn.
Thinking he could deceive the murderer, Richis and her daughter travel seperate ways from the carriage man. Able to track scents, Grenouille quickly follows Laure’s smell as he needed her scent to complete the collection. At the inn, Richis told Laure why they are running away as he dream of her death. He then decides to marry her to someone she doesn’t love. This disappoints Laure.. and to make matters worst, Richis lock Laure up.
Grenouille manage to sneak in and stole the key and killed Laure in the inn. With her scent, he completed the PERFECT perfume before he was arrested and tortured by Richis for killing her daughter. The movie then ties in back with the starting of the movie whereby Grenouille is brought to the public hearing and was sentenced to death.
On his execution day, thousands of angry citizens gather around waiting to see how such a cruel murderer will be killed. However, everyone was shocked to see him dress nicely and arriving at the town in a carriage. It was shown that Grenouille dap a few dap of perfume on his body and handkerchief. The guards that escorts him rudely soon felt like they were in heaven and everybody starts treating him nicely. Even the executioner and the angry citizens hatred and anger turns to love.
The authorities, executioner and citizens soon abandon the idea that he should be punished stating that he is an angel. Being happy, he dapped the handkerchief with more perfume and let it go. Everyone goes crazy and started to fight over the handkerchief. The whole town then starts to touch one another and everyone started to take off their cloths and make love in the middle of the town.
Grenouille is pardoned from his crimes and even Richis appologizes to Grenouille for what he has done. Grenouille then leaves town and returns to Paris with his PERFECT perfume. He knows he hold the greatest weapon in the world. He could make everyone bow down and be the king and conquer the world. He soon realize that he would not be loved and he could never love someone as what the people really fall in love with is actually the perfume he creates.
He return to the place he was born. There, he saw a group of homeless. Right in front of them, he opened the bottle of perfume and pour every single drop of it on him. The people soon goes crazy and tells him how much they love him and start to pile on him. The effect is so overpowering that they want to hold him as an angel and own a piece of him, at which point they tear him to pieces in a frenzy and eat his remains leaving behind his cloths and the empty perfume bottle.
I personally think it was a great movie with strong and powerful actors and actress. Everyone sort of fit their roles except the fact that I felt the red hair girl in Paris looks less attractive than the rest. Hemmm… then again.. beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
I love how the storyline goes as it is really interesting and creates a lot of tension which makes one addicted to continue watching it. I seriously not find any boring moments watching this show. Not to mention lots of lovely ladies to look at.
However I am kinda disappointed with the fact that a lot of the movies was censored due to nudity. Ah… now.. one would wonder why lesser people goes to cinema and watch movies like this.
I strongly recommend this movie if you like something interesting, with strong storyline and new faces. Well, what can I say, I think it worth every penny of the investors since this is the most expensive German movie to date (2006).
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was last modified: April 3rd, 2017 by velverse