With all its tediousness of an over-evocative montage and a story line that presents some highly improbable scenarios Perfect Sense turns out to be a fairly enjoyable film. Poetic in a way, but too serious about its subject matter, the film equally charms and annoys with its emotive stylistic features and a poorly written script.
The film tells a story of a young couple, Michael (Ewan McGregor) and Susan (Eva Green) who must overcome their emotional fears while struggling to make sense of the outburst of an unusual epidemic during which people start losing their senses. The disease first attacks the sense of smell, and then moves to taste, sound and finally sight. People try to keep on living while their worlds slowly turn upside down. In the foreground to that apocalyptic occurrence, the director David McKenzie plots a love fairytale about two people who overcome all obstacles and learn to understand the true meaning of love. The story sounds banal, but as it may surprise some, that banality is the film’s biggest forte.
When taken seriously Perfect Sense is an incredibly depressing love story. The whole world is heading towards its end; humanity will quite probably cease to exist after the last sense – sight, finally disappears. But only through such magnificent decline of our civilisation we are to understand the true meaning of the titled ‘perfect sense’. All other senses must fail us so that we can appreciate the most important one of them all – the sensation of love.
I wish I could give some smart explanation to McKenzie’s extravagant message, but I can’t. I’m afraid that if I start analysing his film too closely I will start liking it less and less with each question asked. Why is it that such profound suffering must be brought upon people only so that they can appreciate the meaning of love? Why is love to be thought as the ‘perfect sense’? Why does the director sympathise so strongly with the society’s embrace of suffering? Why isn’t anyone trying to find a cure to the ‘epidemic’?
But then, why bother asking? Finding answers to any of these questions won’t make the film any better. So the point of the story is this: ignorance is bliss. Happy Valentine’s Day!