To celebrate the 20th anniversary release of Satoshi Kon’s cult anime film Perfect Blue, All the Anime are bringing it to UK cinema screens for one night only on Halloween!
Until recently, I had never seen Perfect Blue despite being aware of its existence for years, and I suspect I’m not the only person in this position. Whether or not you’ve seen Perfect Blue before, this film is just as shocking and gripping 20 years on and is well worth catching on the big screen.
Mima Kirigoe is a member of the popular pop idol group Cham! but after two years of singing on stage, she announces her retirement to the dismay of her fans. She wants to make her mark as an actress and when she gets the opportunity to play a rape victim, she accepts, despite the reservations of her manager. The controversial role is a stepping stone in her acting career but then someone starts murdering her co-workers. At the same time, a fake Mima has set up a website called Mima’s Room, which details her every move with disturbing precision.
Perfect Blue has aged very well and still feels like a contemporary film dealing with today’s issues, such as online identities, stalking and the wrath of public opinion. The only point it feels particularly dated is when Mima sets up her huge old-fashioned computer and learns how to use this new thing called the internet, which I found to be the funniest scene.
Mima herself is an interesting character, starting off optimistic and determined in her career but her state of mind deteriorates as she begins to question whether or not she is the person committing the murders. This culminates into the film jumping between her acting performances and her real life experiences, blurring the lines between reality and paranoia and utterly throwing the audience.
The other most intriguing, albeit creepy character, for me is Mima’s stalker, a greasy-haired leery man who only Mima seems to see. He’s the embodiment of a fan who cannot accept his perfect idol moving on and sullying herself, something that is still a problem with today’s obsessive fan culture.
Perfect Blue is a gripping watch from start to finish, and is ideal for a Halloween watch for those of you who don’t really like scary films. The most uncomfortable scene is, of course, Mima’s acted rape scene. As horrible as it is to watch, it’s inclusion in the story is important to get inside the mind of her stalker/the killer.
If you’re unfamiliar with Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue is a great introduction to his multi-layered and complex stories. This is a film not to be missed.
Perfect Blue comes to UK screens on Tuesday 31 October and tickets are on sale now!