MOVIE REVIEW #05: PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER

Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Produced by: Bernd Eichinger
Based on: Perfume by Patrick Süskind
Starring: Ben Whishaw: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille × Alan Rickman: Antoine Richis × Rachel Hurd-Wood: Laura Richis | Dustin Hoffman: Giuseppe Baldini
Production Company: Castelao Productions | Neff Productions | VIP Medienfunds 4
Distributed by: DreamWorks Pictures | Constantin Film (Germany) | Metropolitan Filmexport (France)
Release dates:
September 14, 2006 (Germany)
October 4, 2006 (France)
November 24, 2006 (Spain)
Running time: 147 minute
Country: Germany | France | Spain | United Kingdom
Language: English
Budget: $60 million
Box Office: $135 million

 

PLOT (Wiki)

The film begins with the sentencing of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), a notorious murderer. Between the reading of the sentence and the execution, the story of his life is told in flashback, beginning with his abandonment at birth in a French fish market. Raised in an orphanage, Grenouille grows into a strangely detached boy with a superhuman sense of smell. After growing to maturity as a tanner’s apprentice, he makes his first delivery to Paris, where he revels in the new odors. He focuses on a redheaded girl (Karoline Herfurth) selling yellow plums, following her and repeatedly attempting to sniff her, but startles her with his behavior. To prevent her from crying out, he covers the girl’s mouth and unintentionally suffocates her. After realizing that she is dead, he strips her body naked and smells her all over, becoming distraught when her scent fades. Afterwards, Grenouille is haunted by the desire to recreate the girl’s aroma.

 

After making a delivery to a perfume shop, Grenouille amazes the Italian owner, Giuseppe Baldini (Dustin Hoffman), with his ability to identify and create fragrances. He revitalizes the perfumer’s career with new formulas, demanding only that Baldini teach him how to preserve scents. Baldini explains that all perfumes are harmonies of twelve individual scents, and may contain a theoretical thirteenth scent. Grenouille continues working for Baldini but is saddened when he learns that Baldini’s method of distillation will not capture the scents of all objects. Baldini informs Grenouille of another method that can be learned in Grasse and agrees to help him by providing the journeyman papers he requires in exchange for 100 new perfume formulas. En route to Grasse, Grenouille decides to exile himself from society, taking refuge in a cave. During this time, he discovers that he lacks any personal scent himself, and believes this is why he is perceived as strange or disturbing by others. Deciding to continue his quest, he leaves his cave and continues to Grasse.

 

Upon arrival in Grasse, Grenouille catches the scent of Laura Richis (Rachel Hurd-Wood), the beautiful, redheaded daughter of the wealthy Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman) and decides that she will be his “thirteenth scent”, the linchpin of his perfume. Grenouille finds a job in Grasse under Madame Arnulfi (Corinna Harfouch) and learns the method of enfleurage. He kills a young lavender picker and attempts to extract her scent using the method of hot enfleurage, which fails. After this, he attempts the method of cold enfleurage on a prostitute he hired, but she becomes alarmed and tries to throw him out. He murders her and successfully preserves the scent of the woman. Grenouille embarks on a killing spree, targeting beautiful young women and capturing their scents using his perfected method. He dumps the women’s naked corpses around the city, creating panic. After preserving the first twelve scents, Grenouille plans his attack on Laura. During a church sermon excommunicating him, it is announced that a man has confessed to the murders. Richis remains unconvinced and secretly flees the city with his daughter, telling no-one their destination. Grenouille tracks her scent to a roadside inn and sneaks into her room that night, murdering her.

 

Soldiers capture Grenouille moments after he finishes preparing his perfume. On the day of his execution, he applies the perfume on himself, forcing the jailers to release him. The executioner and the crowd in attendance are speechless at the beauty of the perfume; they declare Grenouille innocent before falling into a massive orgy. Richis, still convinced of Grenouille’s guilt, threatens him with his sword, but he is then overwhelmed by the scent and embraces Grenouille as his “son.” Walking out of Grasse unscathed, Grenouille has enough perfume to rule the world, but has discovered that it will not allow him to love or be loved like a normal person. Disenchanted by his aimless quest, he returns to the Parisian fish market where he was born and pours the remaining perfume over his head. Overcome by the scent and in the belief that Grenouille is an angel, the nearby crowd devours him. The next morning, all that is left are his clothes and the empty bottle, from which one final drop of perfume falls. (Wiki)

 

OWN REVIEW

I believe this was the first ‘weird’ film I have seen and enjoyed. The tile itself will immediately catch your attention – Perfume and Murder? Not your likely combination. However, this film justified the choice of title. I have seen this film years ago and I have almost forgotten it but every time I think of a weird film I have seen, this comes to mind first. The cinematography was great. It’s very realistic. The film will get you thinking ‘What the hell just happened?’ or ‘What was that?’ (if you have not read the plot). The story itself was very interesting. You would wonder how Grenouille will preserve the scents he so much wanted.

 

RATING

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BOOK REVIEW #04: GIDEON’S SWORD × PRESTON & CHILD

I bought this book because I wanted to read more works from this terrific duo. I fell in love with Aloysius X.L. Pendergast and, really, I was not ready to let go of the character when I finished the last book in his series.

 

So, I bought the next book giving the next character a chance to dominate my world the same way AXLP did. Well, he did not surpass my expectations (I still love AXLP) but he has a characteristic that’s very fascinating. He is more ‘human’ than Pendergast (who has weird and somewhat ‘out of this world’ skills).

 

The story introduces Gideon Crew, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who is also a former art thief/master-of-disguise. He learns from his mother that his mathematician father—who had developed a flawed encryption—had actually warned his boss about the flaws, only to be murdered. Gideon exacts revenge from his father’s murderer. As a result of this, he is recruited to be a freelance operative by an ultra-private security/engineering firm working for the Department of Homeland Security. His mission: to trace and retrieve plans for a mysterious super-weapon being brought to the United States of America by a Chinese scientist before the Chinese can recover them. (Wiki)

 

You’d expect a lot of action in this book (guns, dressing-up, murder, etc…). The parts where Gideon has to change characters were enthralling – it’ll take you a while to realize it was him (if you are a bit slow like me :p). There are a lot of bad guys but one was the main villain – Nodding Crane. The way he kills his adversaries suggests that he was ‘monstrous’. I imagined him to be like the guys from ‘See No Evil’, ‘Jason Goes to Hell’, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, etc – you know, monsters. No feelings, cannot talk and created to be a killing machine. However, he was mostly ‘human’ like Crew. I thought Gideon was facing an adversary that cannot be killed but I was wrong. Maybe there was something wrong with me understanding how he was introduced in the book.

 

The writing style was, as always, perfect. There are lots of gripping moments which made me finish the book in one sitting. I also approved of the way it ended – Crew did the right thing (in my opinion). I look forward to the next book to know what’s in store for Gideon’s character.

 

BOOK INFORMATION (Wiki)

Authors: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: Gideon Crew
Genre: Thriller, Science fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: February 22, 2011
Media type: Print, e-book, audiobook
Pages: 342 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-446-56432-8
Preceded by: Fever Dream
Followed by: Gideon’s Corpse

 

GIDEON CREW SERIES
The Ice Limit (2000) Series Prequel
Gideon’s Sword (2011)
Gideon’s Corpse (2012)
The Lost Island (2014)
Beyond the Ice Limit (2016)

 

 

RATING

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MOVIE REVIEW #:04 AS THE GODS WILL

Genre: Supernatural Horror Film
Directed by: Takashi Miike
Starring: Sōta Fukushi: Shun Takahata × Hirona Yamazaki: Ichika Akimoto × Jingi Irie: Amaya Takeru
Release date: October 18, 2014 (Rome Film Festival) × November 15, 2014 (Japan)
Running time: 117 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (With English Subtitle)

 

PLOT (Wiki)

High school student Shun Takahata spends much of his time playing violent video games. One morning at school he whines that his life is completely boring but then he suddenly finds himself forced to participate in a game of Daruma-san ga koronda with death as the penalty for losing. When the Daruma doll turns toward the blackboard it exposes a button on its back that the students can attempt to press to end the game but if the doll spins back round and sees anyone moving then those students’ heads will explode. Everyone in the class but Shun dies in this first game.
After the game, Shun finds his childhood friend Ichika and they make their way to the school gym. There they play a game where students dressed as mice attempt to throw a circular bell into a hoop attached to the collar of a giant cat doll. Those who miss are killed. Amaya wins this challenge and enables the students to move on to the next challenge in a giant ice cube hovering over Tokyo. These cubes are hovering over many of the world’s cities and the games are being broadcast to the public with the survivors being dubbed “God’s children”.
Shun must keep winning a series of different deadly children’s games in order to protect himself and Ichika. He has no knowledge of who’s behind the games or what their ultimate purpose is. Meanwhile, a troubled classmate named Takeru seems to revel in the opportunity to cause the death of other students.

 

OWN REVIEW

As what you would expect from a Japanese Film, this one’s weird – fascinatingly weird. A bored High School student ‘prayed’ for a different life and he got more than what he prayed for.

The movie consisted of 5 games: the remaining students would have to finish each game alive to proceed with the next.

First Game

Daruma-san ga Koronda: If the Daruma doll sees you move, your head will burst into red circular pebbles and die.

as-the-gods-will-darumasan

Second Game

Maneki-neko: A machine-operated cat that eats humans dressed as mice. When the students figured this out, they took off their costumes but then it only made the mice eat everyone since there are no more mice to be eaten. In order for the game to finish, someone will have to shoot the circular bell into the cat’s necklace (hoop).

as-the-gods-will-psycho-cat

Third Game

Kokeshi Game (Kagome Kagome): 4 Kokeshi dolls would sing the Kagome song whilst they move around you. You have your eyes blindfolded so you don’t know who’s behind you – and that’s how you will win the game – you have to guess who’s behind you among the 4 Kokeshi dolls.

kokeshi_dolls_as_the_gods_will

Fourth Game

Pure White Bear: The Bear will ask a question and everyone must be honest with their answers. If one lies, the group will have to figure out who the liar is and have the bear kill him/her. The game will finish if the liar has been killed.

as-gods-will-2

Fifth Game

Matryoshka: A game member (which was called the ‘devil‘) will have to capture 3 people for him to live. Since there are more than 3 people in the game, if the devil has been captured by the other member/s, the captured ones are released and the devil will die and the rest lives.

as-the-gods-will-film-image-7

I like puzzling movies so my attention was caught by this film. Though I don’t understand the language, the subtitle made it possible for me to understand the story. The way the students die are very brutal so if you are kind of squirmish, this may not be for you.

 

The movie was well made (in my opinion) and the character’s acting are spot-on, especially the crazy guy Amaya Takeru (Jingi Irie). The graphics are almost too real. I actually wanted to have the Manga series so I can read more about it and of course, I’d like to know the original story.

 

RATING

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FOOD/RESTO REVIEW #01: KUMPIR

Kumpir, a baked potato with various fillings, is a popular fast food in Turkey. In its basic form, it is made with potatoes that are wrapped with foil and baked in special ovens. The potatoes are cut straight down the middle and the insides are mixed with unsalted butter and puréed with kaşar cheese. However, all sorts of foods can be added to the potato: mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, sweetcorn, sausage slices, carrots, mushrooms and Russian salad. The cafés in Ortaköy, Istanbul make kumpir that are especially popular with the tourists and offer even more ingredients. (Wiki)

 

In the Philippines, there’s a fast food located in Market! Market! named Kumpir. They offer variations of baked potato dishes and other meals.

 

I tried their Baked Potato Tuna. It’s a large-sized potato cut in the middle and the insides are infused with tuna, corn, green peas, shredded and cubed carrots (actually I’m not sure which one was the carrots and I’m not sure if the other one was not a carrot because they kind of tastes the same), mayonnaise, ketchup, and black olives.

 

PRICE

99 PHP ($$$$$)

 

RATING

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OTHER FLAVORS

In the photos

 

ADDRESS

Food Court, Fourth Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

 

 

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BELO MEDICAL GROUP TREATMENTS

I am one of those women who have a skin far from being perfect. I admire those who have white and flawless skin. I know that if I wanted to have a skin such as that, I need lots and tons of money, something I do not have.

Just out of curiosity, I asked one of the leading Medical Clinics here in the Philippines for a price quotation of the treatments I have seen online. Those are the ones I wish they could have performed for me but seeing the prices that were sent to me, it became quite obvious I won’t be able to afford one complete session of any of the treatments I have asked for.

See below for yourself. 🙂

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PRODUCT REVIEW #01: BEAUCHÉ SET

I have a combination skin: oily on my T-Zone area and normal on the rest of the face. I am also prone to breakouts, especially when I was in High School. I grew old with little to no self-confidence because of my acne. I see myself as ugly and I got even uglier because of the pimples. Duh.

Turned out, my breakouts are just a phase in my puberty. When I grew older, I was getting lesser pimples. However, I was left with lots of pimple scars because I used to prick my pimples. I have found out it was the number one thing you don’t want to do with it. Nobody told me. I was even advised to do it. I should have not listened. 😦

Anyways, moving forward, my breakouts are now very seldom. The only problem I have is getting rid of the blackheads that live on my nose and the scars I was left with.

That’s when I came across this product. My friend was using this and it made her skin tight and clear. She recommended that I try it. So I did.

I bought it from Market! Market! for 750 PHP. It was a set which includes a toner, a clarifying solution, a soap, and 3 creams (Rejuvenating, Age Erasing, and Exfoliating). I also got one free soap (the same as the one on the package). I’m already on my 4th day and my face is as red as a tomato and it’s already peeling. I felt like my skin is so tight and shiny.

The package comes with instructions for day and night usage. It started to get stingy on day 2. On the 4th day, it starts to get itchy. I will wait until the end of the week, or probably 2 weeks, to see any difference.

I did not take a ‘Before and After’ photo – yet. I will probably do it later when I get home.

I will give another update after a few days. ❤

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BOOK REVIEW #03: THE SPY × PAOLO COELHO

I was trying to find another good book to read when I heard Spotify’s advertisement of The Spy. I heard it several times before I decided to purchase one.

The cover was very impressive. The texture and color were different than the books I already own. I was never fascinated about a book cover until I saw this.

The story is about a girl named Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” Zelle MacLeod, known best for her stage name Mata Hari. She was accused of being a German spy and was assassinated by firing squad.

Her life was far from ideal. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to live in that era as an exotic dancer and courtesan. But she strived and became famous because of her dancing and charisma.

Those same attributes became her drawback when she was accused of passing information to her Germans clients.

The story was short – I finished it in one sitting, approximately 2-3 hours – but it was very powerful. I was teary-eyed when I finished the book. Paulo Coelho did very well in outlining Mata Hari’s struggles.

It shows that even from the early years, politics and the politicians are corrupt. They work for power and can easily do whatever they want because they are in the position to do so.

But Mata Hari was a brave woman. She faced her detractors and she even blew a kiss to her firing squad before they pulled the trigger. As one of the nuns stated, it looked like she had a good night sleep before her execution.

There were a few inspirational quotes from the book, but my favorite was this:

Flowers teach us that nothing is permanent: not their beauty, not even the fact that they will inevitably wilt, because they will still give new seeds. Remember this when you feel joy, pain, or sadness. Everything passes, grows old, dies, and is reborn.

This reminds me that everything changes, even change. Nothing is permanent. Whatever we are feeling right now will pass. So let it be and it will be gone soon.

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Pages: 208 pp.

Publisher: Knopf; First Edition/First Printing edition (November 22, 2016)

Language: English

 

RATING

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