Perfect Blue ★★★★

We make decisions every single day that change the trajectory of our lives, but thankfully we never actually see those other potential outcomes . Our choices keep us on a path we never stray from. Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue asks the question: what if you could see the “you” that had made a different choice and were constantly reminded of what could have been? Would you go mad? 

Perfect Blue is a haunting and beautifully animated tale of regret, obsession, mental illness that pulls back the curtain on show business and life at the dawn of the Internet age. It will have you second guessing every smile you see on a face in a magazine, wondering who got that model to pose and why. It also serves as a great double feature with Bergman’s The Virgin Spring; Spring makes a valid case for depicting horrific acts on film, and Perfect Blue counters by showing how merely filming something traumatic can affect an actor. It’s also reminiscent of the latest Bojack Horseman season  (if there are any fans out there) in its depiction of how real life and the roles we play blend together, a fascinating concept that Kon captures beautifully. 

     I was impressed right from the start with its tremendous pacing and editing (do you call it editing if it’s an animated film?), remained engaged because of how it played with our perception of reality, and then had my jaw on the floor for its climax. Perfect Blue is a terrific film thats greatest strength is slapping the viewer on the wrist every time we think we know what’s going to happen next. Just be prepared to question your reality for a bit.

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