Starring: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Connie Nielsen, Denis Lawson, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Dillane
Directed By: David Mackenzie
Written By: Kim Fupz Aakeson
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 32 min
Perfect Sense is all about love (as in, all you need is), wrapped up in a really intriguing sci-fi premise. A story about the world’s population slowly being stripped of each of its sensory perceptions; each preceded by an intense emotion. Grief is first, which signals the loss of smell. Then the loss of taste follows feelings of fear and hunger. Anger brings about the loss of hearing, and then finally a profound sense of euphoria hits before everyone goes blind.
Amidst this juicy idea for a movie, is a blossoming romance between an epidemiologist, Susan (Eva Green) and a chef called Micheal (Ewan McGegor). Focusing on their meeting and subsequent relationship, while also realistically exploring people’s desire to adapt and make the best of the situation in the months between sensory losses.
Being a science fiction fan, I have to admit I was more interested in the premise than the romance. Which unfortunately meant I was frequently frustrated by this film, as the ‘mechanics’ of this story idea never get properly explored in detail. Why was this happening? What were people trying to do to solve the puzzle? You know? Natural questions you might ask if this actually happened. Instead, the movie only pushes its ‘love, love, love’ message, which is made all too clear thanks to frequent and unnecessary moments of narration throughout the film.
On the more positive side though, director David Mackenzie manages to keep this production tight and on point. I also enjoyed the creative ways writer Kim Fupz Aakeson let her characters experience the world after each sense is lost. Taste goes, so people explore texture. Hearing is lost, so people learn to appreciate how sound feels.
Eva Green and Ewan McGregor are both extremely talented actors, and turn in convincing performances. Moments as they express each intense emotion and subsequent lost of a sense are credible and even moving sometimes. They are however, unable to generate much chemistry amidst the story’s weighty high-concept premise, and light back-story development given to each of their characters.
This film may not appeal to science fiction fans, as the details behind the story are never properly explored. Fan’s of Eva Green and/or Ewan McGregor should get some entertainment out of this production however. The movie is rated R for language, sexuality and nudity.
While not a big visual spectacle, the streets of Glasgow, Scotland still make for nice a backdrop for this story. A TV screening in HD will service this film well enough. You might miss some details watching this on a portable screen.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
Ewan McGregor’s angry outburst right before going deaf, and Eva Green’s reaction to it was the best moment in the film for me. Michael totally rips into Susan, and even though she knows his outburst is due to the condition affecting everyone, it still cuts deeply, and she runs away.