With the most ironic title in all of Netflix, The Perfection is an atrocious film. The movie plays like a checklist of contemporary Hollywood contrivances; a #MeToo storyline… check, some lesbian characters… check, an interracial relationship… check, a mental illness backstory… check, some self-harming… check, and it’s partially set in Asia for some international profits… oh, how brilliant. The film centres around two musical prodigies who are taught at a prestigious school and this school and its tutors become a mediocre metaphor for Hollywood itself: good lord, look what their inductees had to go through, we had no idea! In a post-Harvey-Weinstein world, I suppose the commissioning of this sort of wannabe-relevant crap was always going to happen, I just didn’t think the end result would be so phony, hollow, and patronising.
The Perfection is like watching an apology letter by Hollywood that’s somehow morphed into a Hostel sequel. With its Tarantino-esque chapters and Liman-esque rewinding of time, the tone of the film is completely muddled. It’s like the writer and director watched The Page Turner, but realised how hard it is to construct a satisfying tale of revenge, so instead proceeded to make what looks like a faux-feminist, Guy Ritchie attempt at a horror thriller. I have to point out that this film is directed and co-written by a man, and that being the case, surely it’s in bad taste to project his violent, penis-based, sapphic fantasies onto filmic representations of male abuse victims? Sorry for all the toxic masculinity in Hollywood and the greater entertainment industry, here’s a film so I can feel better for what my sex did to your sex! Piss off.
Richard Shephard’s direction is so bad that in the first act, it seems that the lead has possibly killed her own mother. The movie is so poorly constructed, that you can also see the jealously-cum-poisoning plot coming a mile off (and by the way – what drug causes suggestible hallucinations?) but when that section of the story is retired, the plot then veers-off into something that resembles Saw XVIII. Given that critics vehemently disapprove of “Torture Porn”, oddly, they now seem to be rating this piece of celluloidal bullshit quite highly, calling this film “smart” and “gripping”. I guess Torture Porn is okay when a film pretends to tackle institutional sexual abuse.
In a case of typecasting or just plain stupidity, Allison Williams of Get Out-fame is once again batting above her average and ruining the day for another black character. Strangely, Logan Browning is supposed to be thankful that someone drugged her and forced her to cut off her own hand. The entire plot makes little to no sense. It essentially tells the viewer that getting drugged and mutilated by the hands of a woman is not as bad as rape by a man. If one of Weinstein’s alleged victims maimed another just to prove to them that they were sexually assaulted, would that be okay? No, not really, they’d also be awaiting trial but in The Perfection, we’re supposed to side with them… you go girl!
The cringe-worthy ending of two women each losing an arm (although one isn’t on purpose) but both being able to play a cello or bass or whatever the fuck in unison is just terrible. Oh look, they can work together despite what they lost! Never mind that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, this is the worst metaphor in the history of film. And are we to believe that two musicians with one hand each are able to amputate someone, suture them, and administer parenteral nutrition? This is about as believable as a sexual predator’s apology. “It’s Time To Face The Music” my arse.