Imagine you are single and you finally meet that someone you like. You are in the early stages of dating, but then a virus appears and compromises everything. For some of us this is a reality we now have to deal with. It reminded us of Perfect Sense (2011), a love story set against the backdrop of a viral outbreak. Sounds familiar?
Make no mistake, Perfect Sense may look a typical romance from its cover, but it has a pandemic of epic proportions. Given, it is not a great film (though its entertaining), yet its basic premise is so relatable given the current circumstances, it may be worth your while. In fact, you may even pick up an insight or two.
The story focuses on two people. Michael (Ewan McGregor) is a chef. Susan (Eva Green) is an epidemiologist. They meet one evening as many people do. But this is not a typical love story. As their love strengthens, so too does a pandemic which is steadily robbing the world’s population of sensory perceptions. First to go is the sense of smell. Next is taste. And so on. Part romance, part apocalyptic thriller, Perfect Sense illustrates that while the future is uncertain, one thing is for sure. Without love, there is nothing.
Here’s what we learned: As the virus spreads across the world, so too does the realization that the human race will always adjust, will always adapt. From a musician ‘performing’ scents on a violin (smell), to a restaurant serving textures and temperatures (taste); Perfect Sense makes us aware of the profound appreciation of what it means to be alive.
Spoiler warning: Our analysis continues after the clip.
The movie comes to a close with an observation by the narrator (Katy Engels), in which she remarks there are two types of people. Those who believe in anything but the end of the world, and those who believe that life goes on somehow — or just don’t know what else to do (you can decide for yourself on which end you remain).
In the closing shot then, our protagonists meet again after having a lasting fight. By that time, both have lost their ability to smell, taste and hear. They take one final look at each other before losing sight. They float in each others’ arms and all there is, is touch.
We leave you with this. In Perfect Sense, humans are losing their senses one at a time, yet their ability to touch remains. Now consider how in our present-day reality we can stay as social as we like — as long as we keep our physical distance. We may still have all of our senses; it’s the ability to touch that we long for so much.
Stay home. Watch a movie. Stay safe.