Directed by Eddie Alcazar.
Starring Garrett Wareing, Courtney Eaton, Tao Okamoto, Maurice Compte, and Abbie Cornish.
Perfect, follows the tale of Vessel 13 (Garrett Wareing) a disturbed young man who commits murder and is then promptly carted off to an isolated woodland clinic by his emotionally distant mother (Abbie Cornish) to cure those dark primal urges…once and for all.
From the get go I must be utterly frank in saying that Perfect is undoubtedly the most visually arresting movie to debut this year. The heady cocktail of orgiastic phantasmagoria at display here may overwhelm you at times but one cannot deny the inherent beauty of this dark symphony. Painstaking efforts have been made to make this experience a thoroughly immersive one. Everything from the indigo hued wire-frame graphics to the pulsating synth-wave soundtrack (courtesy of Flying Lotus) evokes the seductive ambience of a surrealistic 80’s techno-thriller. The luxurious retreat itself is a sight to behold; an unearthly amalgamation of hedonism and ascetism. A dreamlike space inhabited by flawlessly beautiful humans, in a perpetual state of stupefaction. The role cinematographer Matthias Koenigswieser plays, in breathing life to this psychedelic microcosm cannot be overstated.
From a purely aesthetical perspective this movie is a sure-fire winner, coming off as a weird love child of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain. Conceptually however, the movie fails to impress and falls rather short. The narrative is unnecessarily muddled and frustratingly obfuscated. Director Eddie Alcazar appears to be more enamored in creating mesmerizing ‘moments’ more than creating an emotionally fulfilling story. As a result, our senses are bombarded with psychedelic montages devoid of meaning, in rapid fire succession.
The almost Cronenbergian look at the adverse effects of genetic modification and cosmetic enhancement is sadly, inadequately explored. It would have been quite timely if they did; what with modern societies’ increasing predilection towards narcissism and compulsion to attain perfection, which have currently reached epidemic proportions. A missed opportunity for some valuable social commentary, me thinks.
The disconnected performances serve only to complicate the already problematic script. With none of the lead characters possessing any clear motivation or direction. The multiple voiceovers spouting philosophical musings further muddy the murky waters. We later find out that one of the voices belongs to Dr. Price (Maurice Compte), the duplicitous scientist who runs the mysterious therapy center. Early on he states that he has breathed life to automatons, but their purpose within the confines of the narrative is never clearly define or expanded upon even later on. Many story threads like this are left forgotten and unfulfilled, which may make for a dissatisfying experience to the audience.
Perfect is a polarizing movie experience that would have benefited immensely from a stronger script. But regardless, you will be sucked into its hypnotic visual vortex, leaving you asking for more. A Jodorwsky-esque brain-melter that is worth your time, if you are up for the challenge…
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★