Thursday, March 29, 2007

Scent of a Woman

Rather than the usual daily mall-hopping, we decided to do something a little different today. Took a walk instead through the cobbled streets of 18th Century Paris, braving the noxious smells of the muddy river mingled with the sweat and stench of the unwashed masses as we shoved our way through bustling traders, bourgeois merchants and snooty aristos holding their noses high.

The beautiful and the ugly

And oh yes, as we edged our way through the periphery, we also noticed an unusually lean, hungry-eyed perfumer going by the name of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille peddling his wares even while he eyed a sweet virginal redhead making her way through the crowd.

Charming Calvin swears that I'm misjudging the perfumer - those evil eyes! - but God knows what he actually intended to do with her.

But I just wanted to make sweet smelling potions!

Perfume : The Story of a Murderer tells the story from the point of view of our strange, enigmatic perfumer whose incomparable sense of smell and inexplicable lack of a personal scent isolates him from the rest of society. Almost maniacally obsessed with the layered sensory world he alone inhabits, he develops a single-minded obsession in life to distillate the preservation of the perfect scent, characterized by a ravishing yet distant redhead he'd once fallen for. Think spectacular visual feast as the historical smells and sights of Paris as well ( both the beautiful and the ugly ) as rural Grasse in Provence are brought to literal life. :)

Unfortunately as we learn from Grenouille's increasingly unstable acts in collecting his own essential oils ( think blunt trauma, unwilling victims and boiling cauldrons as our obsessive perfumer cuts a homicidal swath through the ladies ), not all are content to only stand and stare ( and smell, in his case ). Although our peculiar anti-hero protagonist is pretty hard to root for, I find myself a little unnerved by the fact that I find it easy enough to predict - and even imagine the monstrous things that he did.

Damn if I'm not turning out to be a little Hannibal Rising.

Honestly though I think a very fine line separates us supposedly sane folks from the would-be criminally insane, hopefully locked up in padded cells muttering Clarice in their disturbed sleep. Stray but a little from that line and bloody mayhem ensues since I believe that every man, given the right provocation and with the correct extenuating circumstances, wouldn't hesitate to kill. Of course some need a little less provocation than others.

But it's still just shocking how such a tiny shred of conscience ( and perhaps unshakeable faith ) can prevent us from committing the heinous acts that we ponder about silently in our heads.

Then again, perhaps I'm the only one with the wicked intentions :)


Sue said...

I already have it on my Netflix list!

Alex said...

I watched this movie, I loved it! Although the book is notoriously better (and some parts were cut because of time I suppose) I thought the characterization was pretty good.

I usually hate it when they do movies out of books because it makes my idea of what the characters look like simply fade away, but this time not so. They pretty much looked the way I pictured them so it was points in favor for me.

It was interesting how the movie was told as if you were reading the book. And I think the Cinematography was wonderful.

But that's just me.


xoussef said...

i was 13 when i read that novel and i still remember it pretty well.
i wonder how the orgy scene were picturised...
i must see that movie ^^

Musang said...

you always have wicked intentions...


ZEYN OF ENVY said...

seen the movie...not at panggung wayang though. it was good.

Anonymous said...


I was wondering if you would like to trade links with me my site is
( Pierre's Boys )

Let me know and I add your link asap :)

Pierre Fitch


Alex said...

Pierre Fitch, huh? Next you'll be getting comments from Michael Lucas ;) I'd love that.....

savante said...

It's great, sue. Make sure you catch it.

Always think that the book is better too, alex. Didn't have the chance to read this one though.

The orgy scene was shocking to say the least, xoussef.

Yeah, I do, musang :)

Ah, tengok kat DVD, zeyn?

Will check it out, pierre!