Perfect Blue review

Jasper Sharp
Fri Dec 3 03:45:08 EST 1999

I'd just like to say that I was absolutely bowled over by this film when it
received an incredibly limited release in London earlier this year (my
review is on the imdb), and along with 'Shall We Dance' this film really
sparked off my fascination with all things Japanese.

		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Abe' Mark Nornes
[mailto:amnornes at]
		Sent:	Friday, December 03, 1999 09:06
		To:	KineJapan at
		Subject:	Perfect Blue review

		Here is a review of Perfect Blue from the venerable Film
Threat, which now
		runs its own weekly electronic newsletter

		* * *
		Okay, word association time. Name a "Japanimation" movie
currently in release
		which starts with the letter "P." Nope, not that one. In
fact, leave the
		kiddies in their "Pokemon"-induced daze in an adjacent
theater, supervised by
		an unfortunate older sibling who maybe didn't take out the
garbage like you
		asked. Meanwhile, you can check out Satoshi Kon's
interesting animated
		pychological thriller "Perfect Blue."   When Mima leaves the
popular squeaky
		clean pop group "Cham" for a less wholesome acting and
modeling career, it's
		not a particularly welcome development for her fans;
especially her best
		friend Roomie, herself a former Cham member. Uncertain of
her career choice,
		yet determined to shed her pop idol image, Mima forges ahead
despite the
		warning inherent in a letter bomb she receives on the set of
a trashy TV
		show, "Double Bind." As if that, combined with discovering
that an unknown
		cyber-stalker who knows her every move and puts words in her
mouth on an
		unauthorized Mima website, wasn't creepy enough, she soon
notices a
		mysterious and grotesque, dead-eyed, crooked-toothed stalker
freak staring at
		her from the fringes of the set. After people associated
with "Double Bind"
		start turning up gruesomely murdered, Mima's grip on reality
begins to slip;
		especially when her pop idol persona appears and taunts her,
		impossibly skipping away Mary Poppins-like from building to
building. Before
		long, Mima's first line as an actress -- "Excuse me...who
are you?" -- also
		fairly well sums up her own mental state as she takes method
acting to the
		extreme, tottering precariously between the real world and
the world of her
		TV character.
		     "Perfect Blue" is a bit of a mixed bag. What starts out
as a fairly
		conventional and effective stalker drama with a cyber-twist,
soon gets too
		cute with its dreams within dreams set pieces and shifting
realities. It's
		kinda nifty at first, but Kon just keeps piling it on until
you just roll
		your eyes, throw up your hands, and scream, "Enough!"
Granted, this helps you
		identify with Mima's slipping hold on reality, but that
doesn't necessarily
		make watching it enjoyable. Nor does Mima's stilted dialogue
looping, so
		silly it's distracting, which makes her seem like even more
of a ditzy
		airhead. Then, of course, there are the usual disconcerting
		associated with the charming but simple animation style,
anime. While some of
		the wide shots are actually pretty slick, everything else is
extremely jerky
		and crudely drawn...except Mima's breasts which, I swear to
God, jiggled.
		(Lord, I'm fixating on naked cartoon boobs. I REALLY need a
		Viewers more accustomed to Disney animation or even the
Sunday night Fox
		Block might be put off by this style. For everyone else,
however, "Perfect
		Blue" isn't a half bad way to spend a rainy afternoon,
especially if the kids
		are off soaking up Pokemon-mania. - Merle Bertrand

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