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Review of the film at ARTE

People are losing their senses due to an enigmatic epidemic. In the midst of the chaos, two people find each other who shouldn’t actually love each other. The apocalypse has never been shown so poetically and poignantly as in “Perfect Sense”.


Perfect Sense – A modern love story

Drama 03/03/2021• 8:15 pm

“There is darkness and there is light,” explains a woman’s voice from the off. But the light will disappear in “Perfect Sense – A Modern Love Story”. In the film that ARTE is now showing again, director David Mackenzie accompanies people through the apocalypse. They lose their sensory perception in his poetic, stirring and sensationally illustrated end of the world. Taste, smell, hearing and finally the eyesight: what is left in the end is the essential. But the protagonists have to get involved with that first – and Mackenzie believes they can.

A mysterious epidemic is rampant across the globe: Nobody knows what triggered it, there is no antidote. The whole world, Southeast Asia and Africa, America and Europe, is out of its mind: During this time, gourmet chef Michael (Ewan McGregor) and epidemiologist Susan (Eva Green) meet in Glasgow, Scotland – two people who do not fit together and actually do don’t want to love.


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But David Mackenzie leaves them no choice: the director was already interested in “Young Adam” and “Hallam Foe” in how his characters try to love despite being unable to love. Michael and Susan are also rough with each other, but honest. They bare each other – physically and mentally. Her frenzy is symbolic in this brilliant reflection on the nature of our time.

“Perfect Sense” works less as a love story than as a puzzle: the world rushes by in hectic collages of fictional and real news images, its residents have no time for anything. You don’t take your time. Until they experience a brief, violent bout of excessive sadness. Then the sense of smell is gone, and an ocean of images from the past disappears: smell is linked to memory like no other sense.

What do we perceive? How much do we appreciate the senses? The attack of sadness is followed by a global eating flash and the loss of the sense of taste. Then all people get really angry before they can no longer hear anything. And finally the darkness comes. Life goes on anyway: when a meaning is missing, people focus on others.

Live more consciously, take your time, recognize the essentials: the pace of life is slowed down in the face of the catastrophe. The nice thing is: David Mackenzie lets hope survive. In the end, love remains – even in times of absolute darkness. Darkness cannot conquer light in this apocalyptic thriller, which is a coherently narrated gem that skillfully and imaginatively uses the narrative and creative possibilities of cinema.

Source: teleschau – the mediendienst GmbH

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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