Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perfect Sense

Question: Do you remember when you were a kid and you constantly asked people “what if” questions? My kids do it all the time. So much so it drives me nuts some days. “What if the sky was green? What if we had a cat instead of a dog? What if I had an extra arm?” etc... I also recall when I was younger and being asked what if I had to choose to lose one of my senses which one would I select? I always had difficulty with that one. Losing my sight or hearing were an automatic no, but what about taste, smell or the ability to feel? Oh, I struggled with giving an answer. They all have importance to me and the way I live my life. Which one would you choose?

I ask these questions because I watched Perfect Sense recently and the plot was about this exact topic. In typical form I don’t want to give the plot away so I will try and just give you some details that I really enjoyed about this film. Yes, I will skip over the fact that Ewan McGregor stars in this, but I do have to say he was quite good in this one.

First, Perfect Sense told on a very unique “what if” story but took it to an extreme. Imagine losing one of your senses. How would you cope? What other senses would heighten or adjust? How would it affect your job? So many questions get asked in this film it was sometimes hard to keep up with what I would do. So, I just let the story take me away and I let the filmmaker prove their vision for specific outcomes. And both lead characters, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, did a fantastic job showing how different types of people react to losing a sense. I'd say more about the specifics of the characters but it is best you just find out for yourselves how they meet, connect and deal with their issues.

Second, then the plot added in a romance that became affected by the “what ifs”, and it makes you really think about how people, why people and what people do when they are in love and when something is subtracted from the equation. Brilliant! We all have been romantically involved with someone, and usually there are certain obstacles to get over, get around or avoid. But what if everyone had the same obstacles? A level playing ground, so to speak. The film delves into this and I was completely mesmerized by the progression of certain relationships. 

Lastly, by the end of the film, and I cannot say as to why or I will give too many details away, I was smiling when I hadn't really throughout the majority of the film. Not just at what was happening in the film but how the filmmakers communicated the finale. It gave me goose bumps and it really brought me even more into the story, if that was possible. I totally lose myself when I watch a film but the experience I had with Perfect Sense brought me in so much deeper. Well done!

And on that note: I am going to let my children ask me as many “what if” questions as they want because I know believe they are the impetus to good storytelling. You'll never know where asking certain questions will lead.

Directed by David McKenzie, BBC Films, 2011.

Written by Kim Fupz Aakeson

Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi. 

My favorite part: Well, Ewan McGregor, of course but honestly I loved how the film ended.

My least favorite part: A scene with people eating – that is all I will say about that.

Rating: R
Length: 92 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10

*photo courtesy of IFC Films.

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