Title: Perfect Blue
Genre: Drama, Animation, Thriller
Director: Satoshi Kon
It was this film that I would later discover partly influenced Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream,” and it’s not difficult to see why. From the same man who would later go on to write ‘Paranoia Agent,’ whilst it never reaches the peaks of humour or insanity the manner it progresses is incredibly well thought out. Depicting a slow descent that would do Hitchcock (Psycho) proud, it may not be perfect but manages to hold up to the scrutiny of multiple viewings, with subtle intricacies lending new light upon each viewing.
Following the story of the pop idol Mima, a member of up and coming band ‘Cham,’ who leaves in order to persue a career in acting. Climbing a rocky road to success, she does everything in her power to prove herself as an actress, even resorting to degrading herself in risqué scenes against the advice of her agent, Rumi. Acquiring a stalker whom seems to know too much about her, the division between dream and reality becomes blurred she becomes haunted by reflections of her past.
The animation isn’t particularly good; a straight-to-video release a little over a decade old, that whilst it certainly doesn’t hold up to modern standards, the end result is still more than merely watchable, being that it is the plot that is truly on show here. The characters intriguingly worked less for their originality of personality but rather the manner in which they change over the course of the film, coming across in a believable manner, with little subtle details dropped as you watch how things steadily spiral out of control.
The whole piece is deceptively complex; the simplicity of such a film premise that has been written in such a way as to become disjointed and dissonant. Almost impossible to distinguish what is real and not, the frequent ‘revelation’ in a scene panning back to reveal her performing her dialogue, or the random interspersed moment where a scene abruptly ends with her lying in bed – was she dreaming? – results in a constant source of intrigue as your mind sifts through all the short scenes to figure out what’s real, what isn’t, what really happened, what’s going on and ultimately resolve the situation that threatens her life. This film isn’t just about a woman’s descent into madness, this film succeeds in dragging you along for the ride as well, and yet when all is done the final conclusion does make a form of twisted logic. I think.
God Damnit, I’m gonna need to re-watch this one as well aren’t I?