- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles Color: Yellow
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 92 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: IFC Films/MPI Media Group
- Blu-ray Release Date: May 22, 2012
- List Price: $29.98
Director David Mackenzie has done the best he could with Danish screenwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson’s story of finding love in the face of an apocalyptic global pandemic. Perfect Sense‘s overwhelming sense of doom and gloom, its relentless aura of seriousness and deeper meaning, however, is what eventually becomes its undoing as the film progresses well past its point of tolerability.
The story begins as epidemiologist Susan (Eva Green; TV’s Camelot; The Golden Compass; Casino Royale) is consulting with another doctor about a mysterious illness that has afflicted a truck driver. He’s lost all sense of smell after a sudden attack of overwhelming melancholia. With a group of unconnected patients around the world also suffering from the affliction and no biological or toxicological evidence for what could be causing the illness, the doctors and scientists are left perplexed as it continues to spread across the world.
Meanwhile, Susan meets Michael (Ewan McGregor; Amelia; I Love You Phillip Morris;The Island; Trainspotting), a hotshot chef and womanizer who works in the restaurant across the street from her apartment. The two hit it off and begin a romance amidst the turmoil that is the anarchy that society is descending into as the next sensory perception inevitably begins to vanish, the sense of taste. In one of the more brilliant turns of the film, people experience a prolonged moment of panic, then a sudden urge to gorge themselves on whatever they can find to eat, and then it’s all over, the sense of taste is gone. But, humanity being humanity, things must fall back into place somehow, and we see Michael’s restaurant redefine what it means to dine out, shifting the focus from taste to color and different textures and temperatures.
Here is where the film becomes too pompous and pretentious to take, as Aakeson’s script becomes bogged down in the typical theatrics and melodrama of romance before spiraling toward what we’ve been bludgeoned over the head with too many times with already – so-called subtext. The flashing by of still photos and archival footage of riots, society in decay and chaos, like some Frontline or BBC documentary. Yeah, we get, in fact, we got it about 30-minutes into this not-so-subtle film. By the time we get to the ending, we’re not shocked, stunned or enlightened, we’re just exhausted and happy it’s all over.
One should mention, however, that Eva Green and Ewan McGregor do excellent jobs with the work they are given here. Their chemistry on screen is electric and they prove themselves once more, truly great actors.
Perfect Sense was captured in high definition using Sony’s CineAlta F35 cinematographic high definition camera in HDCAM SR (1920 x 1080 24 fps) resolution. Occasionally, the AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from IFC Films and MPI Media Group looks quite film-like, with good detail and texture, and a strong sense of contrast. However, there are moments in the darker shaded areas and dimly lit scenes where noise jumps and takes on a distinctly harsh, electronic appearance. Otherwise, the image looks good, with natural flesh tones and no apparent signs of edge enhancement or compression errors.
There’s an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack that is boring and completely straightforward. The slightest bit of atmospheric effects on the odd occasion wake up the surround channels for this front-heavy, dialogue-driven film that provides clean dialogue and a narrow range of dynamics.
They can try to claim there are supplements on this release, but they’re not fooling anyone here. The so-called “featurette” doesn’t even hit the two-minute mark. Outside of that, the original theatrical trailer for Perfect Sense in 1080p is provided alongside more IFC Films trailers.
- Featurette (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:47)
- Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
Perfect Sense starts strong, but becomes tiresome rather quickly. It’s not that the concept isn’t a good one. On the contrary, the story here holds so much potential. Perhaps with some pruning in the right hands, this might have been a truly marvelous film, but with this director, it is mediocre.