Perfect Sense

When I first watched the trailer for Perfect Sense, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Mostly, I had been attracted by the fact that it starred a very handsome Ewan McGregor as the lead man, and what seemed to be an interesting story. And I wasn’t wrong about the story, except that to say it was interesting would be quite an understatement in this case…
In order to avoid spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it I won’t dwell on the actual story too much. What I can share is that it’s NOT a classic love story along the lines of boy meets girl and they fall in love. Quite on the contrary – and in a manner that may be confusing when one starts watching the movie for the first time – the story begins with a scene of VERY casual sex… and pretty much seems to end there.
But there’s a lot more to it than what meets the eye. Which is kind of ironic considering how the plot of the movie is about people beginning to lose one sense after the other, in a way that sends the viewer back to the absurdity of Kafka’s stories. Assuming the viewer IS at least somewhat familiar with Kafka. For anyone who is not, the expected reaction would be a bewildered: what the… ? And anyone with a mind trained in looking for logic and sense will attempt, throughout the movie, to find the logic, meaning or sense of what is going on.
But the truth is, except for the actual love story, not much else makes sense. And that’s frightening because, added to the actual style of filming, made to resemble documentaries and make it all seem so much more PLAUSIBLE, this dystopic script that the movie is built upon is actually heavily anchored in reality. Because it deals with senses, actual human senses such as smell and taste, that most of us take for granted. And whenever one such sense is altered or becomes lost, the event is forecast by a completely senseless behaviour such as irrational fear, anger, hatred. Which might be a subtle way for the movie to suggest that it’s not so much about losing ONE sense, but rather losing common sense, in its very broad meaning: common HUMAN sense, the one thing we have in common that makes us all human.
I am still deeply troubled and disturbed by this movie. If I was asked to say what its point was, I would be clueless. I honestly don’t know for sure whether it HAD a point. Was it a warning about how we should enjoy what we have instead of taking things for granted? Was it a metaphor of how much modern life de-humanizes us by making us lose the most important of our senses, the one that I referred to above as COMMON sense? Was it meant to show that love conquers all, even within an apocalyptic scenario? Was it supposed to force the viewer to look inside of himself or herself and wonder, truly wonder, what if all of these REALLY happened?
Truth be told, it’s not easy to watch this movie from beginning to end. Nor do I recommend it for the general public. It IS disturbing in more than one way and, while it has its share of awww (read “romantic”) moments, it’s not suitable for the faint of heart either. But it’s definitely something else, something different, and as such I appreciate it and warmly recommend it to anyone who’s strong enough to digest it.