A Love Story During an Epidemic Makes "Perfect Sense"


A love story in the midst of an epidemic is the premise of David Mackenzie’s 2011 film “Perfect Sense”.  When people around the world start losing their senses one by one we must find a way to carry on.  Chef Michael (Ewan McGregor) and Epidemiologist Susan (Eva Green) have just met, is they're love doomed before it begins?

“Perfect Sense” is a structured art-house style film that takes a different approach to the whole apocalyptic virus genre.  The story is more about loving and appreciating life, you never know what you had until it's gone.   This mysterious illness starts will a profound sadness and uncontrollable grief followed by a loss of smell.   Michael and Susan’s relationship quickly develops, each finding something in each other.  People eventually find a way to adapt and life goes on.

Susan and her colleagues continue to research the cause of this illness but come up with nothing.  Is it environmental, terrorism, no answers can be found.  Then people start having panic attacks and develop an uncontrollable hunger until their sense of taste is gone.  Michael’s job as a chef essentially has been rendered useless.  Again people learn to adapt, their remaining sense becomes more acute.  Even as people are now becoming quarantined in their homes, Michael and Susan’s relationship grows stronger.  The next phase of the disease will put it to the ultimate test as people develop a searing rage and anger.  Michael verbally assaults Susan with some of the cruelest language possible as he flies into an uncontrollable rage.  After this people go deaf.  The movie itself goes quiet.  Periodically through the film, Susan has a voice-over that describes what people are feeling.  

The painful inevitability of this disease is heartbreaking, it makes you think about what it means to be human.  Michael and Susan are now separated and miserable until the last phase comes around.  A feeling of intense love, kindness, and acceptance just before you go blind.  In a mad dash to beat the inevitable, they find each just before everything goes dark.  “Perfect Sense”  is actually quite entertaining given its strange premise.  In the end, the only sense people have left is touch.  Yes, it does sound a little cheesy, but it does resonate at some level.  The acting and commitment by everyone involved make this a movie worth watching.