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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Review: The Perfection

Director: Richard Shepard
Screenplay: Eric C. Charmelo, Richard Shepard, and Nicole Snyder
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Ten years later, a young cellist has the opportunity to go back to the music academy in which she was formed to find a few changes. The most important, a new talented cellist that has taken her place as the academy’s protégé. They both develop a strong relationship that takes them through a frenetic path in which many secrets about them and the music academy are revealed.

Not even my late coming to savor what “The Perfection” offers was enough to prepare me beforehand for the wild ride it had in store for me. In my defense, I did make an effort to avoid knowing the important details of the convoluted story, and it ended up being the best option. As a recommendation, the least you know about the story, the better your experience with this movie will be.

Charlotte is a gifted cellist, who seeks to return to the music conservatory in which she developed her career after being away for 10 years tending her sick mother. After reuniting with her mentors she sees there is another student that has taken her place as the star cellist. They both develop a romantic relationship which takes turns and twists towards dark places involving them and the academy. 

“The Perfection” starts with a love story between two women who find a lot in common among them. They both go on a road trip to a rural area of Shangai, where Lizzie gets sick and the movie starts taking a downward turn towards the dark, controverted and absurd. Here the first scene that changes completely the tone of the movie takes place. This kind of scene becomes a constant, providing frequent unexpected turns and leaving the viewer with a sense of never being sure of what is actually taking place.

The screenplay by Eric C. Charmelo (“Supernatural”), Richard Shepard (“The Matador”), and Nicole Snyder (“Supernatural”) is full of twists that strongly depend on the acting. This is one of the most solid points of the movie, as the whole cast do a superb job. Allison Williams (“Get Out”) as Charlotte and Logan Browning (“Dear White People”) as Lizzie manage to take you so into the plot with their interpretations that is almost impossible to see the smart and creative twists before they happen. The direction by Shepard, inspired in foreign cinema and the work of Alfred Hitchcock, takes the story to the next level with creative use of cinematographic techniques, colors, and very interesting editing.

Many of the reveals are presented together with this creative editing process. The first big twist comes as part of a rewind, where we get to see the same scenes that were shown a few minutes ago but from another perspective that gives different information. This rewind technique happens a second time in the climax of the movie, but this time is not as effective as the first one. They also use plenty of flashbacks that provide pieces to the complex puzzle of the story without negatively affecting the development.

“The Perfection” is not the type of movie that leaves the viewer indifferent and takes you to the extremes of either loving it or hating it. You are never sure where the plot is being taken to, converting monsters into heroes and sheep into wolves. This movie is overflown with creativity in the story as well as in the technical and visual aspects and does not restrict itself in the use of topics such as suicide, mutilation, and child abuse, as well when presenting violent scenes in a very graphic fashion. This is a must-see movie for fans of horror movies and twisted convoluted tales.

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