The Perfection (2018) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - The Perfection (2019)
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Over time, you think you build up a tolerance for messed up movies and yet The Perfection will still likely leaving your mouth gaping open.


Director(s) Richard Shepard
Screenplay By Richard Shepard, Eric Charmelo, Nicole Snyder
Date Released 5/24/2019
Genre(s) Thriller, Fantasy, Drama
Good If You Like Revenge Plots

Really Screwed Up Adults

Isn’t For You If You Body Mutilation or Bodily Fluids
Noted Cast
Charlotte Allison Williams
Elizabeth Logan Browning
Anton Steven Weber

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Trigger Warning(s)

There are multiple scenes of vomiting, one of defecating and depicting of maggots throughout the beginning of the film.

The Perfection Plot Summary

After ten years, Charlotte finds herself free to return to Anton and the community he created at the Bachoff school of music. Leading to her tracking him down and reuniting while he is in China. This reunion just so happens to coincide with Elizabeth being by Anton’s side and her on the cusp of a two-week vacation. One which, the 5 years younger, but very much aware of Charlotte, Elizabeth wants to share with one of her idols. Bringing you to wonder, what will Charlotte do with the girl who essentially succeeded, as well as surpassed, her?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Bachoff is an all-girls academy which primarily focuses on string instruments like the violin or cello. It was started by Anton’s grandfather in the 1920s.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Towards the end, where were the rest of the girls? What was done with them?

Highlights

It’s Quite Shocking & Maintains That Sense Of Shock Throughout The Film

Charlotte (Allison Williams) offering a meat clever to Elizabeth.
Charlotte (Allison Williams)

While I’ve seen films like Martyrs, The World of Kanako, the original Oldboy, and Wetlands, I strangely was still able to find myself occasionally shocked, disgusted, and some form of appalled. Which isn’t to imply this film does the sort of things which makes it clearly not commercial, but it finds this weird balance between being something that could make money yet maintaining a sense of being unsettling. This is mostly due to Logan Browning’s character Elizabeth either because of what she does or what she endures.

Then when you add in Charlotte filling in the gaps of what you wouldn’t know just filling in the trailer, as much as you may guess what has been done, or can be done, I can’t say you’d expect this film to go so far.

On The Fence

The Rewinding

In The Perfection, the film, at least 3 times, rewinds back to explain what just happened or why it happened. On the one hand, who doesn’t like knowing why a character did something they did? Yet, on the other, with the film breaking down what happened so often, it undercut the build in a way. For just as you yell “WTF!?” you jump back and are clued into what happened. Leading to you sometimes feeling like they threw water on the moment and didn’t let the shock hold long enough. Thus making the film akin to a series of knee jerk reaction from you vs. being allowed to be in a shocked state long enough to have trouble processing what happened.

The Ending

Anton (Steven Weber) watching someone play cello.
Anton (Steven Weber)

While the film does get crazier and crazier as it goes on, as we reach the ending, thanks to the film explaining the “why?” question throughout, it makes the ending feel anti-climatic. For at that point, you pretty much know what needs or will happen. And while the final moments are a bit freaky, by that time you may have your mouth gaping open, but you’ll be just at the point of being adjusted to the madness of the film.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

Available on Netflix

Perhaps the issue with The Perfection is that, like many films which focus on shock and horror, you less so remember the story and more so remember the visuals. And while you have to applaud Williams and Browning for giving those visuals such an impact, once the shock wears off, you start to question things. Which leads you to poke holes in the story and make it so while you may remember the feeling of being horrified at times, the film doesn’t feel like it has value beyond that. Especially since, in The Perfection’s case, unlike some of the other films mentioned above, it’s not complex as much as creates an ends to a means to craft reasons for the vulgar things we see. Hence the mixed label.

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