August 12, 2020

Well That Escalated Fast…

Perfect Blue, an anime movie now over 20 years old, is considered a classic among fans of the industry.

Having watched it once many years ago, I caught it by chance on a late night cartoon network, offering an “adult after dark” theme for more mature audiences. I didn’t remember much from the movie, only the heavy and disturbing undertones; like a damp fog in the fading light. Probably because my young brain blocked out many instances of extreme trauma and horror, lest they haunt my waking dreams.

A quick call back to Ghost in the Shell, another movie seen during this late night spectacle of human depravity and madness. One not sheltered by my subconscious. Resulting in numerous untold fears, as well as images of a naked woman ripping her own arms off in desperation, which linger in the recesses of my fragile mind to this day.

-Shudders for a moment-

Anyway~

I decided to revisit Perfect Blue the other night. Curious if it withheld the test of time, or fell apart like cheese aged a little too long. . .

I was not disappointed.

Following a young woman who decides to switch her career from struggling pop-singer trio, to singular actress, her transition is anything but expected or pleasant.

The movie does something many fail at now-a-days, building a foundation. Call it the ADD generation, or Social Media Fever, but movies created recently have an urgency “out of the gate” style about them. What I mean is if something dramatic, action based, or climactic doesn’t happen in the first 10 minutes, people loose interest.

Not to say the start of Perfect Blue is boring or without story progression of an intense nature. You are watching someone make pivotal choices in their life / career, and the beautiful way in which scenes are presented keep you engaged. Yet there’s a slow, staggering realism in how its explored, from random street comments of passersby, to the empty quietness of an apartment.

Halfway through the movie however, pacing shifts from a natural stride to a desperate run, as the viewer is pulled along a series of intense moments and confusing elements. To the point where I quickly found myself on the edge of my seat, equally as confused and breathless as our protagonist.

End result?

The movie is a harrowing psychological thriller worthy of its place in time. Everything from the character development to colour scheme is gorgeous, and it manages to border on both the real and fantastic, without ever going too far in one direction.

If you enjoy intense, dark themed films, I would highly recommend Perfect Blue. But remember, Viewer Discretion is Advised.

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