Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movie Review

Perfume - The Story of a Murderer

*Warning - spoilers ahead...

I’ve wanted to see this movie for years, ever since reading about it and the main character having extreme olfactory sense. With my sense of smell being the most hypersensitive of my senses and of anyone I’ve ever known or read about, I am drawn to books & movies exploring this topic even if works of fiction. I noticed it was OOP (out of print) and I knew I could rent it via Amazon, but I really wanted a copy after viewing the trailer - I knew I would like it, I collect strange OOP movies, and don’t like to watch movies on my computer. I searched all of our local 2nd hand shops for a copy of the DVD for years, with no luck. It is available online used for $69+, but I wasn’t willing to pay that much for it. Unfortunately it is not out on Blu-ray -seemed like it would look amazing due to the trailer/cinematography. I read many of the reviews without spoilers and noticed several arguments whether or not the main character had Autism/Asperger’s/ASD, so it sparked my interest even more. I’ve seen some call it a masterpiece, wonderful, the most underrated movie, brilliant, etc. I’ve also seen other reviews saying it was horrible, disgusting, twisted, dark, etc. Usually if a movie has a very distinct love/hate following, I will like it. I enjoy movies that provoke a response, feelings, thinking. After finding a reasonably priced DVD, my husband purchased it as a gift for me (yay me!).

This movie resonated deeply with me on many levels – and I’m not talking about the murder part. Objectively, it was beautifully filmed, I loved the music, it was an interesting story, disturbing yet captivating. I identified with the main character’s sense of being a loner, of not knowing what love is, of not being heard or seen, being abandoned, being obsessed with something to the point of nothing else matters until you master it, knowing you will never be like others. I can see why many thought he had ASD. Obviously I identify with his extreme sense of smell. While mine is strong and I can smell things others can’t, smells hurt & burn me where as they didn’t seem to affect him as such. Even when I like a smell, which is very rare (fresh cut grass, peppermint, lemon, water, dirt), I can only tolerate it for a short period before it starts hurting me.

In the film, when he chose the longer path to Gras that took him up the mountains, the farthest away from society and discovered the cave with no smell, I actually cried. I so often wish I could find such a solace. I’ve read that in the book he stayed there for 7 years, which wasn’t thoroughly portrayed in the movie – you knew from his beard growth he’d been there awhile but I don’t believe they mentioned how long.

This movie was depressing and dark, but I did like it very much. Yes, there were multiple murders and even an orgy. Some of it was gross, though not very explicit. The movie made me sad, because I could relate to him (not the murders), and because someone (though fictional) with my same hypersensitivity, ended their sadness by their own hand. He could have been great, successful, even loved, had someone truly cared, educated, guided him. People failed him and he made bad choices. Either way, I thought it was a good movie and I am so glad I finally got to see it and obtain a copy.

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