An orphan with an advanced sense of smell goes to extreme lengths to find the perfect scent.
Director Tom Tykwer showed us recently he is not afraid of making bonkers, lengthy and original cinema with his polarizing adaptation of Cloud Atlas. Perfume is equally if not more unusual but it doesn’t work quite as well.
Protagonist (or anti hero?) Jean-Baptiste Grenouille played by Ben Whishaw I found to be such a grotesque character that not only did I not sympathize with him, I actively wanted him to be caught which makes for a strange viewing experience and resulted in me disengaging at times.
Dustin Hoffman is a welcome addition despite being a bit camp and speaking in a pretty terrible French accent. Alan Rickman is impressive as ever but it is nothing we haven’t seen from him before.
Perfume starts off odd and just goes more off the wall as it goes on culminating in one of the most bizarre and unexpected endings I have ever seen. As with Cloud Atlas Tykwer could have shaved at least half an hour off and it wouldn’t have suffered but despite all this criticism I did find I couldn’t look away.