'Perfect Sense' movie review, trailer: A reluctant romance in an apocalyptic world | Movies | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


Apr 25th
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'Perfect Sense' movie review, trailer: A reluctant romance in an apocalyptic world

perfectsenseposter_optBY JOE TYRRELL

It's 2012, and the end is still coming.

The fin-de-tout romance "Perfect Sense" takes its place in the lengthening queue of recent Apocalypse Noir movies, following such dire warnings as "Melancholia," "Contagion," "Take Shelter," "2012" and anything with Shia Laboeuf.

This time, though, the plague arrives deliriously in the not normally enchanting city of Glasgow. As an unseen narrator begins intoning about men/women, light/dark and so on, director David Mackenzie shows a riot of images. Street scenes, brilliant vegetables, lovers, silvery fish, it is a montage that suggests spice and sweat, screeching and string music, the fuller range of sensation that does not fit through the camera's eye.

But as the narrator (Kate Engels) continues in a poetic and portentous New Age rush, jarring notes of Biblical cruelty intrude. Was that butcher skinning a dog behind his table of carcasses?

It makes a fittingly uncomfortable segue to the comfortable bed where Michael (Ewan McGregor) rolls over and shakes a pretty woman by the shoulder as she dozes. She must go, he announces, because "I can't sleep with another person in the bed."

Meanwhile, out to the west by the port, similarly self-involved Susan (Eva Green) is wandering along the Clyde shore, throwing stones at seagulls while complaining about her latest failed romance to her sister Jenny (Connie Nielsen). "I always pick assholes," Susan says.

Well, at least that doesn't eliminate too many choices. Susan, meet Michael. It turns out his upscale restaurant is diagonally across from her flat. Soon, she is kicking him out of the sack because she wants to sleep alone. They're prefect for one another.

At the medical center where Susan works as an epidemiologist, though, something unsettling is happening. Her colleague Stephen (Stephen Dillane) calls her to consult on a patient in quarantine. His worried wife explains he called from the road to say he no longer saw a point in living.

"He's not usually like that, he's a truck driver," the woman explains.

Sure enough, when he pulled over, he told her he felt better, but had lost his sense of smell. The surly patient has nothing to add for the doctors, only that he wants to leave. When Susan wonders why she has been brought in, Stephen explains that overnight, there have been scores, possibly hundreds, of similar cases around the UK and Europe.


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