Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Dementia, Horror, Psychological, Drama, J-Pop
First Released: February 1998, 80-minute film
Summary: Mima Kirigoe has been a member of the J-Pop idol group CHAM! For two years. She’s decided it’s time to move into an acting career, leaving her former life behind. She is ready to shed her idol image and embrace the life of acting, whatever that may bring. Unfortunately for Mima, some of her fans are not willing to accept that.
Mima’s first acting gig is on a crime drama series that makes her quickly realize being an actress is entirely different than singing. With her managers Rumi and Tadokoro by her side, she must embrace the world of acting to succeed. On top of that, an obsessed fan is unable to accept Mima’s change and begins on a nefarious path to stalk her. In case that wasn’t enough, an anonymous website has begun to impersonate her life in intimate detail. Each development causes Mima to become increasingly unhinged and unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.
Perfect Blue is directed by Satoshi Kon, whose works include such films as Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. It’s easy to see the similarities in his work, especially between this film and Paprika. The psychological aspect of the film was done well. It leaves you guessing as reality becomes undone at an increasing rate. I like this type of compelling show so I was onboard from the beginning. The dark and sophisticated nature of this psychological thriller was just the right amount of mind bend. The violence is intense but it fits the story.
It is interesting to be taken back to the late 1990s and see the infancy of internet culture. Despite being a pop idol, Mima is unfamiliar with the internet. Looking back, the internet was completely different 20 years ago and this film is a reminder of the sinister activities of the past.
You might enjoy this if: You are into psychological thrillers that leave you with a blurred line between reality and delusion. Imagine putting Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Mulholland Drive, and Paprika in a blender to create a Perfect Blue smoothie. Darren Aronofsky, director of both Requiem and Black Swan, has acknowledged similarities between Perfect Blue and his films.
You might not like it if: You want to sit down and have a laugh. Not much of that going on here.
Note to the Viewer: Satoshi Kon directed several acclaimed films before passing away in 2010 at the age of 46 due to pancreatic cancer. He was working on his fifth feature film, Dreaming Machine, when he died.
Perfect Blue Trailer
AMV – Split Mind by Cyber-EG
(Warning, this AMV contains spoilers. Don’t watch it unless you’ve already seen Perfect Blue… Or ignore my warning and watch it anyway, what do I know)