Movie Magazine International

Perfect Blue

Japan - 1997

Movie Review By Alex Lau

"Perfect Blue" is a film about a young singer named Mima who breaks up with her Bananarama-esque singing group to become an actress. In order to make a clean break from her so-called "pop idol status", she takes a role as a rape victim in a TV series and poses nude for a magazine.

Along the way, Mima encounters a deranged fan who somehow knows her every move, and who disapproves of her now-tainted image. Now people around her are being brutally murdered, and to top it all off, shes starting to see her old pop-idol self in the mirror.

Oh, and did I mention that "Perfect Blue" is animated?

If you still have it in your head that cartoons are for kids, "Perfect Blue" will definitely make you think again. Most of the movie could have been done just as well in live action, but the animated look adds a big dose of surrealism to Mimas spiraling descent into madness.

Director Satoshi Kon evokes Roman Polanski and Brian DePalma in piecing together this psychological thriller. It is, however, dubbed into English from the original Japanese, and Im sure something got lost in the translation, even though its impossible to tell exactly what. At least Mima's voice seems appropriately vapid when shes practicing her very first line as an actress: "Excuse me, who are you?"

The voice acting might detract a bit from the enjoyment of the film, but even so, "Perfect Blue" keeps one guessing until the very end. In fact, they never really do explain what the title means.

"Perfect Blue" is on a limited run in select theaters around the country, check to see if its playing near you. If its not, it still might be worth checking out when it comes out on video. Just remember, rent something else for the kids.

© 1999 - Alex Lau - Air Date: 10/27/99

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