Perfect Blu Review

Satashi Kon’s deeply unsettling examination of fame and famous people celebrates its 20th year of release in the UK. Remastered and re released. Its takes on the perceived happy, lovely, celebratory life that fame brings and looks underneath to that shattered frame. Mima Kirigoe, is the lead singer of “CHAM!” and has had major success with her band. However she has decided to become an actress after the band has become less fulfilling for her. Double Bind is her first stop. A crime drama series that she will break into acting with. It’s not making her fans happy however, some are unprepared for this shift. One in particular is obsessed and deeply angered by this changed. A fax turns up saying she has betrayed the band and her fans. “Me-Mania” is the persons name and her begins to stalk her. Watching her from afar, contacting her via the internet, then it gets worse.  She finds a website called “Mima’s Room”, which features public diary entries claiming to be written by Mima herself. This is a step to far, a step into the criminal and dangerous.

Perfect Blue is a very rich film about fame. It is also a homage to Hitchcock and the Giallo film. It is also Satashi Kon’s best film by some range because it plays to much of his interests. By setting up a simple premise and then exposing its core. The end of a band and the end of a generations innocence. Exploring the dark side of fame from the POV of those most affected, the famous themselves. This film takes its psychological examination of deeply rooted damage caused by the loss of the band. It is a film that is wrapped up in identity. The identity that is forming in youth and then is building up and constructing alongside our physical self. Cinema can often play this as a teen angst or repressed sexuality trope but her it reflects on how that might manifest inside the object of desire or identity. Perfect Blue takes sharp swipes at how we engage with identity and the splitting up OF both star and fan. The then emerging J POP scene had left a generation emotionally broken. Like Take That prior, it was like a generation riddled with grief  and the rupture that leads to finding a centre after that. It does so with some very distressing scenes but also does so with an eye for form over function. Dazzling in images that still have decay due to age, its a must watch for everyone…

 

 

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Simon Kennedy

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