Perfect Blue (1997)

2013 Monster Movie Marathon:-Movie #2
 
Words: Desmond Childs
 

Excuse me, who are you?

You, my friend, are a STAR! Thousands upon thousands of people, of all shapes, colors, and sizes-come to see YOU.  How does it feel to have those eyes on you? Sure, you’re part of the famous pop idol sensation, CHEM; but EVERYONE knows who the true star is. We want you to sing forever, Mima! The only thing we will ALLOW you to do….is sing….

“You’re the one who needs to wake-up!”

Perfect Blue plays like a suspense novel from start to finish. The musical score underlines the paranoia and creeping dread Mima begins to feel as the story rolls to its startling conclusion. There have been countless pop stars who have risen into the spotlight only to dim just as quickly, fading away into the past. One can only imagine the pain-staking effort those musicians and singers have put into transforming themselves into being relevant for as long as possible. Many of these “Idols” attempt to crossover into other mediums such as television or movies. Assuming the Idol is in good standing, this would only bring them a slew of other fans, right? What if there were fans who truly believed their favorite singers, belonged to them alone? What if there were people willing to do whatever it took to keep up the image of an idol, even if the idol themselves wanted to move on to bigger, and better things? These and many more aspects of being an Idol are looked at in Perfect Blue, albeit dialed up for full impact.

The most intriguing theme this film explores has to be Mima’s loss of innocence. One example that drives the movie, is her decision (however influenced or coerced she was) to become an actress. Her life as an idol, in comparison was safe. It had become second nature to Mima, who worked hard, remained humble, and appreciated the help she received along the way. As she undergoes her new career path, she becomes subjected to more adult themes. As part of a police procedural drama, she’s placed in scenes with mature situations that push her further away from her comfort zone. Will you do the rape scene, Mima? How well can you play the part of a serial killer? These are themes a pop star, who sung about love, perseverance and happiness struggle to adjust too. The overall tone darkens with this career change, and we begin to meet “adult” characters; cold, impatient, unpleasant, and some even seedy or suspicious. The loss of innocence is slowly building toward being complete, but it’s not in the healthy way many of us grow into adulthood. It’s all forced and pressed upon Mima, who desperately tries to process the changes around her and within. It’s a very well paced hunt of a story. How the responsibilities and possible dangers of adulthood stalk, hunt, and finally kill the innocence of a young actress.

I’m never going to deny the fact that I love Satoshi Kon movies. In fact, I champion them whenever possible. I feel that he was one of the best at injecting true terror, suspense, and anxiety into whatever he touched. His films were never just animated movies. They were live action films someone doused in hundreds of cans of beautifully imagined color, texture and atmosphere. Perfect Blue has those qualities too, although the character designs here are a little wonky to behold; they do a fair job portraying characters for what they are. Keep that in mind. Do not let your own eyes deceive you, when watching Perfect Blue.

Perfect Blue can be found on a number of sites. It didn’t surprise me when I looked on Amazon.com and saw someone actually trying to dump it off for 63 bones. Anyway, fear not! You can find the movie for far less, and still get a HUGE bang for your bucks. Fans of mysteries, thrillers, and Alfred Hitchcock will appreciate this suspense-thriller classic by the late, great Satoshi Kon.

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