This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
James Villat’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Yes, there’s a drunken pattern with my reviews so far but this one was the calm Sunday morning-after and I wasn’t ready.
This is one hell of a film.
Perfect blue centres around the concept of self, but more specifically a woman in the limelight fighting for her sense of self, as patriarchal media and society closes in. Never in this film did Mima, our pop-icon protagonist, have control over her own life, even as her team advised her to be free of the pop-idol image and gain ‘agency’ in acting.
As the admired member of pop-trio CHAM, CHAM Mima was the ideal of ‘purity’ and ‘innocence’ to their disproportionately male fanbase, she’s forced in this twisted image of virginity in which a fan could freely fetishize her but feel happy and secure that she’s (been presented to be) sexually unavailable to everyone else. Actor Mima starts as a small role but devolves to grossly-demeaning lengths, in which she never truly consents but feels she has no choice; the more they use her, the more she becomes lifeless and lost.
As a male viewer watching Mima’s dissolution, it felt sickeningly close to the perspective of her stalker’s, from being mad of rowdy fans, to the distribution of her photos and watching her look out the window, at the camera, to find her stalker, the person at fault.
The patriarchal assault pulls Mima at every turn on both ends, and Kon’s use of mirror imagery; the fight between CHAM Mima and Actor Mima, and how the lines blur that we, the audience, get lost to which side of the reflection is true ... I simply have no words.
(I could geek about this film for awhile, it inspired Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, I suggest reading anhonestmess's review, they wrote an amazing review on the film!)