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Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Blu-Ray)

3.8 out of 5 stars 744 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

German only Blu-Ray, Region All pressing. Author Patrick Suskind enjoys a career shrouded in Salinger-esque mystery. Suskind s best-selling novel PERFUME was coveted by Hollywood for many years, and finally makes it to the screen in this production helmed by Tom Tykwer (RUN LOLA RUN). The film stays remarkably faithful to the author s vision, perfectly summoning up the brooding ominousness of small-town life in 18th-century France, and getting the casting of its central character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), exactly right. Grenouille is an orphan whose sense of smell is extraordinarily acute. He impresses master perfumer Baldini (Dustin Hoffman) enough to work for him, and this sets Grenouille off on an epic quest to find the perfect scent. When he discovers that killing young women and bottling their essence is the only way he can achieve his dream, Grenouille is soon a wanted man with multiple murders to his name. However, when it comes to making one last kill--namely the attractive redhead Laura (Rachel Hurd-Wood)--the young perfumer may have met his match in her overprotective father, Richis (Alan Rickman). Tykwer s film is an impressive achievement, not least because the subject of scent and the cinematic medium were always going to make uneasy bedfellows. Couple that with the weight of expectation caused by the millions of readers who have delighted in Suskind s words, and it needed a brave director to take on such a project. Whishaw is a revelation in his first major screen appearance, and Tykwer made a wise choice in bringing in some older heads (Rickman, Hoffman) to support the younger actor. Visually, the film is stunning, and cinematographer Frank Griebe clearly worked hard to bring Suskind and Tykwer s visions to life. But ultimately this is an ensemble piece, with cast and crew all pulling together to create a film that simmers with a hushed menace throughout.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Ben Whishaw, Rachel Hurd Wood
  • Directors: Tom Tykwer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: German
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: BMG/Arista
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (744 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MMN6YS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,105 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Blu-Ray)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 15, 2007
It must be a daunting task when a filmmaker attempts to adapt a novel that has been deemed "unfilmable." Such is the challenge Tom Tykwer (the audacious "Run, Lola, Run") accepted when he decided to film "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," the wildly popular cult novel by Patrick Suskind first printed in the US in 1986. Intrinsic to the success of telling the tale of "Perfume" is to convey a palpable sense of "smell" and its intoxicating powers. While a book may do this with pages and pages of prose, a film does not have this descriptive luxury--hence, it must attempt some sort of visual shorthand. I'm pleased to say that Tykwer was up to the task. With vivid art direction, stunning visuals, and bold editing choices--you feel, almost, as if you can smell this peculiar tale. While this may sound like dubious praise, it is actually the highest compliment.

Set in 18th century France, "Perfume" relates the tragic tale of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw). Born and almost killed in a fish market, raised in an orphanage, put into manual (and often dangerous) service at a young age, Jean-Baptiste is a disaffected and disconnected youth. Having no social skills and lacking any kind of normal emotional processes, the one thing that differentiates Jean-Baptiste is his keen sense of smell. It seems to be the only thing that connects him to the world he lives in. A chance visit to the city brings him to a perfume shop/manufacturer. Captivated by this world that revolves around the olfactory senses, Jean-Baptiste aggressively pursues a position with the proprietor (Dustin Hoffman). After achieving some success and freedom, he becomes obsessed with procuring the perfect scent--one that he once smelled in the "essence" of a beautiful young woman.
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If you're looking for something unusual, unconventional and unpredictable, "Perfume" is your film. I am not saying this will give a pleasant smell to you. Probably some people would be attracted to the complexity of the strange world where olfactory perception means everything. Or some would loath the film's story and main character itself, especially the conclusion. Whatever you may find it, Tom Tykwer's "Perfume" remains intriguing throughout as allegorical tale, dark comedy or serial killer suspense. Pick your choice.

With John Hurt as narrator with slightly mocking tone, the eventful life story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is introduced, and from the very first moment you realize "Perfume" is no ordinary film. The film successfully conveys how Paris in the 18th century (at least one certain district) smelled really bad, with too realistic scene of its fish market, which is followed by the birth of Jean-Baptiste. His life is destined to be a different one, and the first chapter fully convinces us of his fate.

Ben Whishaw plays adult Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and his wonderful acting as the (anti-)hero virtually carries the entire film to the last. Typical rags-to-riches drama is given a twist when other characters step in his life. First Jean-Baptiste is apprenticed to Giuseppe Baldini, second-rate perfumer who lost his skills. Dustin Hoffman's fake Italian accent may annoy you, but wait for what happens. Jean-Baptiste creates a "hit" perfume with his superb olfactory sense, making Baldini a rich person, and then ... see it for yourself. The story is not definitely Charles Dickens.

Beautiful Rachel Hurd-Wood and Alan Rickman are both memorable as aristocratic father and his only daughter.
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Format: DVD
How exactly do you make a movie about smells? After all, a movie is all about sight and sound. Touch, taste and smell rarely come into it.

But acclaimed German director Tom Tykwer manages to make us smell things, in his most disturbing movie to date, "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer." This time around, the talented Tykwer abandons his usual lovers-against-the-world stories for a lushly-filmed, darkly comic story of olfactory obsession. Yes, that is what I said.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouillle (Ben Whishaw) is a man with a brilliant sense of smell, and zero body odor. He was born in a putrid fishmarket, raised in an orphanage, and later escapes from a tannery where he was working. He's enraptured by the many thrilling smells in the city -- he even kills a young girl, so that he can smell her lovely scent.

In his search for the perfect scent, Jean-Baptiste gets a job with a once-famed perfume-maker (Dustin Hoffman). But after learning that not everything has a scent, he begins killing women to try to distill their scents into the ultimate perfume -- with beautiful redhead Laura (Rachel Hurd-Wood) as the "thirteenth scent." But his ultimate scent has an even more sinister side, as his scents begin to affect the population in unusual ways.

"Perfume" is Tykwer's most unique movie to date, and the one that definitely identifies him as a cinematic master. There are lots of music that are evocative, sensual, colourfully beautiful, or unspeakably creepy, but not many manage to be all of them. "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" is all of those, and more.

Obviously a movie doesn't smell like anything, except maybe stale popcorn. So Tykwer uses sight for smell -- rotted fish, maggots, moldy walls from the late 1700s to show Jean-Baptiste's miserable origins.
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