This is one of the films featured in the recent 2007 french film festival in cebu which I missed. But I was able to acquire an english copy from a colleague.
The backdrop of this fascinating story in 18th century France, a decade and perhaps a couple of years before the American Revolution. City of Paris. There was this fish vendor who gave birth to an unwanted child. A boy.
Early on, there had been many attempts to dispose of him, but he proved lucky enough to survive. Growing up he was obviously different. He has an extra ordinary ability to smell. Distance is of no consequence. He can track anyone for miles, if he so chooses. He can break down any smell to its parts.
Naturally, he became an apprentice to a perfume maker. He was so overwhelmed by his sense of smell that when he became an adolescent. He made his first kill. An accident. A woman. Consumed, there began his journey. Perfume making has similarities to the composition of music. Each note blends. His goal was to preserve the smell of the woman.
My favorite scene in the movie is when the city elders were deliberating on their plan of action. One of them, who was a religious nut, suggested that the local bishop excommunicate the killer. As if this single act would at any degree prevent any more killings. This I think is a relevant social commentary about how people from the present day, solve their problems either by incantations or having incantations told for them by some authority. in this case, the holy mother church. Fortunately, the voice of reason was heard. A serial killer is out there and its going to take human wits to catch him.
This is the kind of movie which lingers long after it has ended. Morbid, sensual, and shameful.
Rating 4 out of 5