The Perfumier (2022): Netflix movie review and ending explained
The Perfumier (2022): Netflix movie review and ending explained

The Perfumier (2022): Netflix movie review and ending explained

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Another adaptation of Patrick Suskind’s German bestseller “Perfume: The Story of a Crime“; The Perfumer (Der Parfumeur) tries to differentiate itself from its predecessors and tells the story of a desperate hunger for love. Nils Willbrandt’s feature follows a detective who lacks his sense of smell and a disturbed perfumer who finds himself in the miserable process of creating the scent of love. The execution however; despite the visible efforts of the crews; fails to deliver a coherent story. It’s an experience that isn’t weird enough to justify its quirks. Still, the film is certainly fascinating in some respects, but only if taken as a stand-alone feature that owes nothing to the adventures that came before it.

The Perfumier plot summary and movie summary:

Sunny (Emilia Schule) experiences happiness in the form of love for the first time when she moves in to be with her partner Juro (Robert Finster). Her otherwise normal life is in a constant state of discomfort because she can’t smell anything. Sunny’s dreams of contentment crumble before her eyes when Juro ends his affair to be with his wife and children. Devastated Sunny’s only form of escape is now her detective work, and she becomes strangely attached to a case of multiple murders of young women.

It is discovered that the victims’ sweat glands are being harvested for pheromones. The evidence makes Rex (Anne Muller) the prime suspect. Sunny follows Rex every day in hopes of finding something incriminating, and one day she finally hears his screams coming from a house and calls for backup. Joined by none other than Juro, Sunny is in an uneasy state. After smelling smoke coming from the house, Juro enters to find Rex. Sunny follows him and finds the unique and incredibly dangerous perfume that perfumer Dorian (Ludwig Simon) has created. Unable to smell him, she ends up rubbing his arm and is met with a sudden and passionate sexual approach from Juro that both humbles her and makes her feel hopeful at the same time. She keeps the perfume with herself, away from everyone’s knowledge.

Sunny learns that the perfume causes a disoriented sexual desire in anyone who wears and smells it, and uses it to manipulate Juro into taking her back. Her days are once again graced with passion and happiness induced by the strange scent. However, after she finds out she’s pregnant and realizes she won’t be able to smell her baby; Desperate Sunny sets out to find Dorian. She is convinced that he will be able to help her regain her sense of smell.

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The Perfumier (2022) movie review ending explained (2)

Dorian and Sunny’s meeting sends him once again on the path of creating the perfume of love, as his first attempt was a failure. A whiff of Sunny convinces him that she possesses the most special ingredient, the “pearl” as he calls it. In exchange for her release from prison, Dorian promises to help her regain her sense of smell. After several failed attempts; in a strange turn of events, she is able to smell things again after surviving Dorian’s sudden attack. Dorian releases Rex from the psychiatric unit and they begin their journey to create the scent of love again.

All is not well in Sunny’s dream life as she and Juro begin to experience the side effects of the lust perfume and she clearly sees that he is unhappy. Her obsession with Dorian leads her to look into his past, and a meeting with his father reveals that he was a strange, unloved child who was repulsed by his smell. It is also revealed that Dorian and Rex’s search for the scent of love began when they were children and continues to the present day. When Sunny is attacked by Rex, she uses the much sought after scent of lust to defend herself. Covered in the dangerous substance, Rex comes out and begins to engage in vicious sexual activities with several people who, under the influence of the perfume, cannibalize her and leave behind only the titanium plate that was in her head.

Review of The Perfumer (2022):

Starting with a photo that is a tribute to “Ophelia”; Willbrandt promises a film that will be visually stunning and delivers the same, for the most part. The dark and haunting cinematography creates a world that looks like a fever dream, and the creepy quotient is upped by the consistently stunning score. Sloppy storytelling, though; it doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous premise it was provided with. The film’s vision and that of the filmmaker remain unclear. The plot seems to have set itself several goals and does an apathetic job of achieving some of them while completely abandoning others.

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The amount of quirks and characters that are aimlessly thrown in for the sake of the main plot is too noticeable to be justified. The randomness of incidents and happenings would have been somewhat understandable if it had been set in a much stranger and non-contemporary world. But in a story like this, set in the world as we know it; the rationale required is far greater than was issued in the film. One of the biggest question marks in the film is Rex. What was the evidence against her? What motivated her to be Dorian’s accomplice? She may just be there to add whimsy, but even that requires some reason.

The mannerisms of the main characters and the crazy battles of the psyche are quite interesting to watch. But the explorations of those nuances have been unsatisfactory and insufficiently realized. The performances being quite good definitely add to the movie watching. In any case; it’s the least engaging adaptation of the book yet.

The End of The Perfumer Explained:

What was the “pearl” and its meaning?

Seeing that Juro is beyond miserable in the dysfunctional, artificially induced relationship, Sunny decides to end it and set him free. It also manages to transcend and rise above the power of the scent of lust. However, as he is still unable to let his dream go; Dorian approaches her once more, and while at first she begins to succumb to the fatal and intoxicating charm, she quickly breaks free. She asks him how he will create the scent of love if he has never felt love. Puzzled and threatened by this question, Dorian seeks the help of another perfumer Moritz de Vries who, as it turns out, has created a device that extracts unaltered pheromones without surgery. When asked by Dorian if he would be able to create the scent of love if he had never felt love; Moritz ridicules the world’s endless obsession with love and leaves.

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Still in pursuit of him; Dorian kidnaps Sunny’s neighbor and his girlfriend, hoping that she will show up to save them and his wish will come true. Dorian enlightens Sunny about his great understanding of the “pearl”. She is told that the pearl is not her, as indicated earlier, but her child. He wants to recreate the scent of a newborn baby because it’s the closest thing to love he can imagine. His attempts to create a bizarre connection with her end when his sense of smell is taken away by a toxic substance that Sunny carried with her. Even closed; Dorian, in his unstable state, continues to dream of breaking free and creating his masterpiece. Sunny is finally freed from her toxic instincts and has given birth to a beautiful child with whom she wants to share a healthy life without fear.

Dorian’s obsession with love was mirrored in Sunny’s desperation for love. Both have a loveless childhood. While one was never adored for a stink that wasn’t his fault, another was abandoned and neglected by her parents. It is quite obvious that Dorian would associate love with the scent of a newborn. As a newborn, he was pushed around and the love he deserved but wasn’t given is exactly the kind of love he continues to seek. Sunny’s unborn child, who is named the pearl, is perhaps a metaphorical gesture to compare her and her fetus to an oyster that carries a pearl itself. Without a pearl, oysters are worthless, and that’s exactly how Dorian feels about Sunny.

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The Perfumer (2022) Movie Links – IMDb
Cast of The Perfumier (2022) – Emilia Schüle, Robert Finster, Ludwig Simon, Sólveig Arnarsdóttir, August Diehl
Where to watch The Perfumer

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