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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

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Crime, Drama |

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a English-language German period psychological thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Dustin Hoffman. Tykwer, with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, also composed the music. The screenplay by Tykwer, Andrew Birkin, and Bernd Eichinger is based on Patrick Süskind’s 1985 novel Perfume. Set in 18th century France, the film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Whishaw), an olfactory genius, and his homicidal quest for the perfect scent.

Producer Eichinger bought the film rights to Süskind’s novel in 2000 and began writing the screenplay together with Birkin. Tykwer was selected as the director and joined the two in developing the screenplay in 2003. Principal photography began on July 12, 2005 and concluded on October 16, 2005; filming took place in Spain, Germany, and France. The film was made on a budget of €50 million (est. $60 million), making it one of the most expensive German films.

The film begins with the sentencing of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), a notorious murderer. Between the reading of the sentence and the execution, the story of his life is told in flashback, beginning with his abandonment at birth in a French fish market. Raised in an orphanage, Grenouille grows into a strangely detached boy with a superhuman sense of smell. After growing to maturity as a tanner’s apprentice, he makes his first delivery to Paris, where he revels in all the new scents. He focuses on a redheaded girl (Karoline Herfurth) selling yellow plums, following her and repeatedly attempting to sniff her, but startles her with his behavior. To prevent her from crying out, he covers the girl’s mouth and unintentionally suffocates her. After realizing that she is dead, he strips her body naked and smells her all over, becoming distraught when her scent fades. Afterwards, Grenouille is haunted by the desire to recreate the girl’s aroma.

Director: Tom Tykwer

Writers: Andrew Birkin (screenplay), Bernd Eichinger (screenplay), Tom Tykwer (screenplay), Patrick Süskind (novel)

Stars: Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Dustin Hoffman, Karoline Herfurth, David Calder

Cast:

Ben WhishawJean-Baptiste Grenouille
Francesc AlbiolCourt Official
Gonzalo CunillGuard 1 Dungeon
Roger SalvanyGuard 2 Dungeon
Andrés HerreraDoor Guard
Simon ChandlerMayor of Grasse
David CalderBishop of Grasse
Richard FelixChief Magistrate
Birgit MinichmayrGrenouille’s Mother
Reg WilsonCustomer Fishmarket
Catherine BoisgontierWoman Fishmarket
Núria CasasWoman 2 Fishmarket
Carlos GramajePolice Lieutenant Fishmarket
Sian ThomasMadame Gaillard
Michael SmileyPorter
Walter CotsDriver (as Walter Cots Wangüemert)
Perry MillwardMarcel
Jan CortésBoy Boarding House
Berta RosGirl Boarding House
Alvaro RoqueGrenouille 5 Years
Franck LefeuvreGrenouille 12 Years
Sam DouglasGrimal
Joan SerratsUpholsterer
Jaume MontanéPélissier
Bridget McConnellAunt
Duna JovéYoung Woman
Karoline HerfurthThe Plum Girl
Timothy DaviesChenier
Dustin HoffmanGiuseppe Baldini
Dora RomanoBaldini’s Wife
Carolina VeraNeapolitan Girl
Rachel Hurd-WoodLaura
Alan RickmanRichis
Sara ForestierJeanne
Ramon PujolLucien
Corinna HarfouchMadame Arnulfi
Paul BerrondoDruot
Joanna GriffithsMarianne
Jessica SchwarzNatalie
Harris GordonMarquis de Montesquieu
Anna GelmanAlbine
Laura GelmanFrançoise
Guillermo AyesaTallien
Anna DiogeneTallien’s Wife
Montserrat MasóHousekeeper
Toby HarperPolice Lieutenant
Jerome WillisCouncillor 1
Fermí ReixachCouncillor 2
Derek SmeeCouncillor 3
Albert PérezCouncillor 4
Artur SalaGatekeeper
Thomas LenoxMessenger
Richard Collins-MooreInnkeeper
Francesca PiñónInnkeeper’s Wife
Nico BaixasGuard Torture Chamber
Enric ArquimbauExecutioner
Oriol TramviaLand Priest
Cristina SolàWoman with Bishop
Laura VidalHangover Girl (as Laura Vidal Traver)
Ariadna CabrolBeggar Woman 1
Maia JenkinsonBeggar Woman 2
John HurtNarrator (voice)
Otto SanderNarrator (voice)
Carmela Lloret
Miquel BordoyRural Orgy (uncredited)
Òscar Bosch(uncredited)
Carme CapdetCustomer of Giussepe Baldini (uncredited)
Carme ContrerasParty Guest (uncredited)
Robert ForcadellRich Man (uncredited)
Susana GoulartExtra (uncredited)
Pedro GutiérrezExtra (uncredited)
Aina Huguet(uncredited)
Pere KoniecWaterboy (uncredited)
Jordi ManuelRural Orgy (uncredited)
Maribel Martin JulianCitizen (uncredited)
Ricardo Mestres(uncredited)
Edgar MorenoParis Citizen (uncredited)
Jaume NajarroRural Orgy (uncredited)
Alberto QuintanaRural Orgy (uncredited)
Carlos SernaRural Orgy (uncredited)
Sergi Atencia SánchezCompanion of Grenouille (uncredited)
Cristian Valencia(uncredited)
Marc VelascoPoorman (uncredited)
Abril Zamora(uncredited)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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