The Perfection (Richard Shepard, 2019)
I’m Sorry… What?
For his feature debut, Richard Shepard embraces the ludicrousness of his own movie and goes for broke in an exhilarating but ultimately mindless ride. What starts as a story about two cello players (Allison Williams and Logan Browning) who become friends quickly turns into a twisted thriller about revenge and resentment. But a fast-paced rhythm and the cast’s full commitment to the screenplay’s utter madness can’t help a narrative full of plot holes and nonsensical decisions and can’t neither save it from Shepard’s need to explain everything with expository dialogue and amateurish “rewind” scenes.
Reviews recommend to go into the film knowing as little as possible, but the movie’s twists and turns are too many for its own sake, and not that shocking for whoever’s seen The Handmaiden. If the plot turns are unexpected, it’s not because the director cleverly fools the audience, but because the character’s actions don’t follow any logical reasoning.
Richard Shepard never intended to achieve perfection in the first place and accordingly presented a movie that claims that even mediocrity can evoke strong emotions. The Perfection might be a well-acted, never-boring B-movie destined to become a cult hit—but a silly B-movie nonetheless.
Charlotte emulates the Jigsaw killer from the Saw franchise and manipulates Lizzie into chopping her own hand so Lizzie can open her eyes and realise she’s under the spell of a rapist. Her plan, though, is as absurd and offensive as breaking a woman’s jaw to let her know she’s married to an abusive husband. You don’t punish the victim, gurl, you punish the perpetrator.
I wonder now if Charlotte, while she was at it, amputated one of the poor Chinese student’s fingers as well, to warn her she’s in the wrong academy.
Directed by Richard Shepard | 2019 | USA
Main cast: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber, Alaina Huffman