Perfect Sense ★★★

I prefer when an apocalyptic outbreak is caused by irrational behaviour. That's because so many blockbusters are reliant on engorging tsunamis, or rabid zombies, to cause that mass delirium. Since Perfect Sense elides this, I want to give its neural concept some credit. A global epidemic has broken out and human senses are gradually lost. This posts the question: When that occurs, how can people adjust to a new type of living? If so, could they find a positive remnant from it? That's what's suggested and with genuine thought.

The sheer strangeness of the physiological fallout is what hooked me. As abrupt crying leads to no smell, wild gluttony takes away the taste, and verbal anger eradicates sound. (The insane appetite montage—where fish, mustard, oil and flowers are devoured, is vividly put together.) No doubt these behavioural connections are tenuous, and the genesis of its disease is a tad incoherent, but the shifting outbursts still held my attention span. Even non-edible objects like soap and lipstick are eaten! Talk about cravings on a full belly.

The problem, elsewhere, is forging a romance between epidemiologist Sarah (Eva Green) and chef Michael (Ewan McGregor). Especially when their traits are so barren. If that's the major crux, then my perceptions were equally lost, because Michael's only memorable facet is that he can't fall asleep next to a woman, and Sarah's is that she's a closed-off brooder who's been in failed relationships. After a meet-cute over cigarettes, Sarah finds her rebound with Michael, as he charms her with leftover foods, and they seem content with each other. Until their senses are lost, and it threatens to tear them apart.

Considering she's an epidemiologist, not once does her urgent interest to find a "cure" become a turning point. At the same time, an unexplored subplot deals with Michael's predicament to cook for people who've lost their taste. (It's forgotten, in lieu for taking Sarah to nightclubs so they can make out.) Despite McGregor and Green struggling to make this leaden duo even remotely charismatic, at least David Mackenzie (Starred Up, Hell or High Water) turns Glasgow into a place of delicate frigidity. Meanwhile, a stirringly melancholy score by Max Richter aids a handful of scenes, which goes in toe with the grievous sensory loss.

The boldness of grafting an extended third-act into a silent film is a neat idea. Which makes for an original blend of barely audible rumbles, and completely unheard vocals, before the next stage of emotion kicks in. Still, the use of a pointlessly unseen narrator who explains in hackneyed platitudes about the meaning of life (accompanied by a sped-up sequences of global hysteria), was a rather airless way to go about it. So, with that said, I dug the theoretical and behavioral catalysts for how each sense was taken one-by-one. When that's pivoted on a tedious love story, at the expense of studying a potential medicine, then it didn't fulfill its execution. Life goes on for the deprived.