THE PERFECTION is a horror film that could have been so much more than what it eventually turns into: a grisly nauseating amputation and mutilation binge, all tied together by the music of the cello that finally seems ironically incongruous to the progressively perverse tone of the narrative.
At first it isn’t so. Two young beautiful classical musicians meet and fall in love in bustling Shanghai. It is when they take off on a bus trip through rural China that all hell breaks loose. Lizzie (Logan Browning) falls violently ill.
Her growing panic is marvellously recorded in the responses of other bus passengers — from kind to frightened to cruel — as well as her lover and travelling companion Charlotte (Allison Williams) who seems at first panicked and then strangely smug.
So far it isn’t difficult to guess what’s going on.
Envy in the world of western classical music dates to Mozart and Salieri. But we soon realise the makers of this low-brow house of horrors aim at a much lower blow than what the world of classicism suggests.
Rapidly, the screenplay changes track and the film becomes a vendetta saga. Child abuse and sexual violence creep into the plot with vengeful intensity. And the journey from horror to pulp is embarrassing, to say the least.
Quite honestly, the film grows progressively creepy in tone and the way girls at the posh music school are treated shows complete lack of sensitivity not only among the predators on screen but also in the writer and director of this pulpy perversity of film.
THE PERFECTION appears to abuse the sensitive theme of child abuse.
The two protagonists, Allison Williams and Logan Browning, work within the script’s twisted requirements. The two young actresses seem to have a far larger appetite for the ghoulish and the foolish than we the audience.
Without giving away the grating finale, suffice to say, the sight of a perverted naked ageing man creeping up on young girls playing the cello is enough to make you throw up.
Puke, by the way, plays a pivotal part in the script. As does puke with maggots crawling in it. Limbs being chopped off with gleaming steel instruments is another favourite method of torture in this sadistic show of brute power.
Not recommended for the weak-hearted or for that matter for anybody. [By Subhash K. Jha]