The trailer for THE PERFECTION (2019) got under my skin, so after I dutifully finished GAME OF THRONES, I checked it out. What starts out as a sensual thriller escalates into betrayal, body horror, and revenge. Despite some really great elements, ultimately I tossed my hands at the film’s mixed signals and contrived plot maneuvers and gave it a meh shrug.
THE PERFECTION opens in Minneapolis, where Charlotte (the intense Allison Williams) watches her mother die. The product of an elite private school, Charlotte had a promising career as a cellist ahead of her, but had to leave to take care of her mother, while Lizzie (Logan Browning), another student, is at the top of the game, enjoying everything the moneyed world of classical music has to offer. When Charlotte reaches out to Anton, her teacher, she is invited to Shanghai to help judge a competition alongside Lizzie. The two women admit their admiration for each other, which turns into a powerful impromptu duet on stage and an erotic connection.
So far, the film was almost perfect, glossy and sleek, lush and superbly paced, rolling out almost like a great piece of classical music itself. The eroticism between the two characters was super charged and convincing. Watching it, I was thinking, this is what SUSPIRIA could have used more of.
The film then changes gears and turns into a biological thriller, only to spend its last act as a body horror-driven revenge thriller.
Any of these were cool, but they’re jammed together through such heavy contrivances that the whole just crushed my suspension of disbelief and fell flat. It’s too bad, as that killer first act could have gone in some fascinating directions.