Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Movie Review: "The Perfection" (2019)

Director: Richard Shepard
Year: 2019
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

After her mother's death, a former cello prodigy returns to her old school to come to terms with the life she gave up and to correct mistakes of the past. 

Movie still for the movie The Perfection where Logan Browning and Allison Williams play a cello duet in a concert hall
"My two most perfect students together." (Image Source)
And we thought Fletcher from the movie "Whiplash" had harsh, intense teaching methods! "The Perfection" is directed by Richard Shepard, who has directed films like "The Matador" and "The Hunting Party," as well as numerous TV shows including "Girls." He also helped write the story along with Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder. The story focuses on Charlotte (Allison Williams), a musical prodigy who left her prestigious academy and gave up her dream of performing to take care of her terminally ill mother. After her mother passes away, Charlotte seeks to reconnect with her former instructors Anton (Steven Weber) and Paloma (Alaina Huffman), who are touring with their academy's top student, the now world-renowned cellist Lizzie (Logan Browning), while recruiting new students for their program. When Charlotte catches up with them, she and Lizzie seem to hit it off, but not everything is at it seems, as they walk a twisted path towards musical perfection.
Allison Williams's character Charlotte holds a cleaver in the middle of nowhere in the Netflix horror movie The Perfection
"Play through the pain." (Image Source)
BigJ and I differ slightly when it comes to how we feel about Netflix's "The Perfection." I liked it a little bit more than he did, and I found myself having a good time because of its bonkers nature. It's a horror movie that has many surprising moments that start off as one thing but morph into another. The first "twisty" moment we, or at least I, did not expect. However, the surprises keep on coming and don't ever really stop until it's over. It seems like the people involved in this project were more interested in having mega-shifts and super-shocks meant to keep the audience on their toes as opposed to actually creating a narrative that makes coherent sense. The story frequently feels contrived because everything that happens is just a little too convenient. It deals with themes of empowerment, jealousy, and mental illness, but what it boils down to is a familiar-but-ridiculous-but-sort-of-fun revenge fantasy. Shepard rewinds the film midway to show the audience what they missed before each twist since lots of information is purposefully left out to create even bigger "gotcha!" moments. It's not like we could have inferred what happened on our own! /sarcasm. Some viewers may find this gimmick to be nothing more than a lazy way to create a faux mystery and a cheap twist. While that may be true, I can't deny that I got invested to the point that I was screaming at the TV in the end. The acting alternates between being uber stiff and over-the-top hammy, both of which feel intentional when implemented within the context of the film. There also some cool, nasty, and gross visuals that will be perfect for horror fans, but BigJ couldn't help but want a little bit more from this picture.
Logan Browning looks on as Allison Williams plays the cello in a stunning red dress in Netflix's 2019 original film The Perfection
"The work, this special work, it's what's expected of us.(Image Source)
Netflix's "The Perfection" will delight some and put off others. The story has us split right down the middle. Some of it is good, some of it is not so good. Either way, it's far from the worst Netflix original thriller we've seen this year.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.1/10
RT Rating: ~73%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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