Perfect Blue UK Halloween Cinema Screening Review
Date: 2017 October 24th Tuesday [16:40]
Posted By: Guest Contributor
UK Anime fans can catch the Satoshi Kon Classic Perfect Blue at UK Cinemas Nationally on 31st October 2017. Visit perfectbluemovie.co.uk to find a screening near you.
We sent James and Lee to review the movie. Our editor found them after the screening rocking back and forth in the corner of the room, muttering about perception of reality and something about an unreliable narrator, he didn't care that this movie freaked them both out, he just wanted his 500 word review. So after some special counselling involving a unicorn chaser of both seasons of K-On (plus the movie) we managed to get a coherent review. Although they are still on edge a bit when they see J-Pop Idols for some reason...
Otaku News has sent us to watch a press screening of the re-release of Perfect Blue, just before the Halloween release date of 31 October 2017 at a UK cinema near you. Having heard a lot about the film we still had no idea what to expect. It was originally released in 1999, and although it has always been a fan favourite among the community, somehow neither of us had managed to see it.
Having had the film hyped up to us over the years it was very exciting to finally see it, although we had no idea what kind of film we were about to watch. The phrase “will make you question your own reality” is how the film was described more than once so when the film opened with what looked like a scene from your typical Idol anime we were somewhat confused. Soon after the first of many disturbing, violent and honestly...creepy scenes played out and we started to realise what we were in for.
The film has not dated at all. Sure there were the occasional references to old technology, but we feel this adds to the charm. The animation and soundtrack work together to create an atmosphere of unease which works perfectly. The music really helps to ramp up the tension in the early stages and we got serious Hitchcock vibes during the first 20 minutes and were already terrified of every actually-mundane object on the screen.
The crisp and realistic animation sets the film apart from most light-hearted anime and this film is certainly not for the feint-hearted. The brutal and in-your-face violence made us wince once or twice - with realistic weight behind the movement the animators have put some serious thought into how the characters move.
The protagonist, Mima, is a c-list pop-star trying to make a move into serious acting - the film really shines a light on what struggling actors go through when they are trying to break into the business. She comes across as sympathetic as she struggles with a tiny Tokyo apartment, crazed fans and difficult decisions in the rise to fame. We found ourselves really wanting Mima to succeed and after just a few short scenes already found that we were emotionally invested in the character.
There’re a wealth of supporting characters - they’re all portrayed with a depth of character rarely found in anime. Although the “creep” character is perhaps over the top - but his hyper-exaggerated creepiness only goes to make it even more difficult to tell what’s a bluff or double-bluff. The rest of the cast fill the film out nicely, grounding the film in a believable setting.
The pacing of the film was brilliant There wasn’t a single moment when we were wondering how long until it ends or disinterested. Every character and situation in the film felt meaningful, important and really captured our attention. We see her dramatic escapades as Mima’s colleagues start dying mysteriously, and eventually descends into blend of insanity and hallucination as she questions who she really is, and we viewers are left piecing together where the line between dream and reality lies. We did like how they managed to make you doubt yourself to the point where these suspicions remained suspicions, keeping you on the edge of your seat. The late great Satoshi Kon is master of manipulating your mind this way, while normal directors tap at the edge of your brain, Kon plays around with it like it's play dough. You will be creeped out, you will want to check on the nearest goldfish you can find too.
We've said releasing this for Halloween was a master stroke, if you want to really scare someone and put them on edge, make them watch Perfect Blue.
So should you go see this film? If you are a fan of anime, then yes. From start to finish it is a great film with an immersive story, likeable characters and perfectly adapted art style. If you want to go see one movie in the cinema this Halloween then we recommend you see Perfect Blue.
Perfect Blue will be screened nationally around the UK on Tuesday 31st October 2017 making it the ideal Halloween fright. Go to perfectbluemovie.co.uk to find a screening near you. There will also be exclusive screenings on Friday 27th October 2017.
If you can't catch the film at a cinema near you, can always watch it on Blu-ray, but we suggest enjoying it on a big cinema screen as intended.