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The Perfection Review: Too clever for its own good

‘The Perfection’ from Netflix is an interesting movie.

The Perfection from Netflix is an interesting movie. Filled with top-notch performances and an interesting story the film is sure to keep its audience engaged. It is also a very creative movie that includes some great twists. Regrettably, it also seems content to rely on its stronger moments to paper over the weaker ones. 

The film focuses on three main characters. Allison Williams and Logan Browning play world class cello players. After a chance meeting the two begin begin a romance that seems to be turning into a strong friendship. When the past begins to catch up with them, things become dark. Steven Weber is the third part of the triangle. He plays Anton, the stereotypically overbearing music teacher who is not as typical as he seems.

Williams and Browning are excellent in their roles. The Perfection is filled with scenes of raw emotion. Whether it is confusion, anger, or concern, both actresses do a great job of conveying how they feel. For example, Williams has one of the best moments in the movie when she subtly smirks at Browning after they have gotten off a bus. The two are not just excelling in the movie’s bigger moments, they also do a great job getting across the story’s subtleties. 

Anton may be the musical teacher who is a strict taskmaster archetype that is common in movies, but Weber brings his own flair to the character. His presence is commanding and the scenes including him are especially tense. Much like his two costars, he is able deliver on all the emotional beats the script calls for. Weber puts in the rare performance that takes over the screen without overshadowing the rest of the cast.

What makes the acting in The Perfection stand out is how well its stars work together. This is not just one person carrying the rest of their cast; this is three people working off together perfectly in order to tell a story. All possible combinations of the three are seen over the course of the film and there is never a time when the acting seems off. This is truly a group effort.

The movie is very creative. In particular, The Perfection’s first big reveal will surprise and then please the audience. Flashbacks in movies that explain what has happened can be silly and insulting. Here, the way it is done will catch the audience off guard. It is more of an “a-ha” moment than the writing holding the viewers hand. It is a unique way of filling the audience in on what has transpired

Unfortunately, the writers of The Perfection may have loved the idea a little too much. The idea is repeated around twenty minuets later. Unsurprisingly, it does not have the same effect. Along with just being done, it also is not as clever as the first time. It does not serve as an explanation and is more like a trap door the writers used to escape the corner they had written themselves in to. 

This also highlights the movie’s biggest problem. The script is as weak as the performances are strong.The second major twist sees shows why a character made a major decision in their life. The choice ignores the first part of the movie. The film tries to explain it as the character having an epiphany, but it all comes off very poorly. The audience should be left speechless after a huge twist, but if they do have something to say, they last thing a director wants to hear is, “that makes no sense”.

This is actually a major problem in the second half of the film. After an ingenious twist that make the characters and story incredibly interesting, the writing staff decides the entire second half of the movie should be a series of fake outs. To that end, The Perfection switches villains three times in the last thirty minuets, introduces cruel punishments, and has a shocking gross out ending.

Occasionally, The Perfection will strike gold. The final scene is a memorable one. While it is a little over the top, it does go with the tone of the story. At this point, it is clear that the one goal of the movie is to surprise and disgust. And it works – to an extent. The finale of the movie will definitely have people saying, “that was unique”. However, few will say, “that was good”.

Filled with great performances and some clever twists, The Perfection is a movie that initially seems destined to be a classic. The first half of the movie will keep the audience on their toes. However it becomes clear as the film labors towards its disgusting end the story is more filler than substance. Creative and well acted, the film is far from perfect.

The Perfection
Is it good?
The strong acting and engaging storytelling work the first half of the film. The writing does nothing new the second half.
Strong performance from Williams, Browning, and Weber
The first twist is executed perfectly
The writing relies on the acting and one good idea
6.5
Good
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