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Retrospective Film Review: David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense

Sunday 11 May 2014

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Words Darren Skene

That such a moving and memorable film as this failed to secure a wider release simply defies all logic, especially when you see the dross that hogs screens nationwide in its place.

Dem’s de berries alas. And so I urge you to seek out this affecting drama about love at the end of the world as soon as you are humanly able. Perfect Sense takes a basic premise – a man and a woman meet, begin to fall in love – and frames it against another – what happens when humanity starts losing its senses one by one? What starts as a 28 Days Later-style lo-fi hi-concept drama, slowly builds on primal fears, the knowledge of how how fragile our senses are that bind everything we hold dear to us in place, and culminates in an astonishingly heartrending final scene.

It’s the second time this year a film’s ending has stayed with me with such resonant vibrancy. If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that the weight and suggestion of the central conceit seem to overwhelm the way in which the film is constructed; there’s some wayward scripting that might have been tightened as well as some questionable direction, but Eva Green (soon to be seen in the Skyfall team’s [John Logan and Sam Mendes] new TV show Penny Dreadful on US cable network Showtime this weekend) and Ewan McGregor ground their chemistry in realism a million miles away from Hollywood romances that have come, gone, and are yet to be. Max Richter’s score lends a complimentary poetic solemnity. A poignant, sweetly sorrowful love story.

Words: Ash Verjee