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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 22, 2020



‘THE PERFECTION’ is a Netflix movie that’s a potent combination of classical music (to give it some high art gloss), psychological thriller,  lesbian love story and a bloody gory horror flick.

Written and directed by Richard Shepard (“The Matador” starring Pierce Brosnan as an assassin), it’s a truly sick combination and, for fans of sleazy grand guignol, it’s so twisty and something they’ll perversely enjoy as you can never really guess where it is going.

Limbs are chopped off liberally as the movie ends and the final sequence showing some of the major characters with no arms (and even legs), it is just blood curdlingly mind blowing.

The movie starts with Charlotte (Allison Williams of “Get Out”), a very promising cellist prodigy who, as a teener, was forced to give up her scholarship at Bachoff Academy of Music in Boston to take care of her sick mother 24/7.

After her mom dies some ten years later, she calls up the owner of the academy, Anton (Steven Weber of the TV remake of “The Shining”), and inquires if she could return.

While she was away, the chance to be the number one classical musical star of the academy was taken over by Lizzie (Logan Browning of the Netflix TV series about black students, “Dear White People”), who tells Charlotte that she’s her idol.

She says that she can’t forget that day when she arrived at the school and she met Charlotte by chance along the stairway. That was also the day that Charlotte left the school to return to her mom.

They are all reunited in Shanghai, where Anton is holding the finals for his search for his newest scholar, a Chinese girl, with Charlotte and Lizzie among the judges. The two quickly hit it off with each other and there’s even sexual tension between them.

They end up together in bed for a night of sapphic love. Lizzie then asks Charlotte to accompany her on a bus trip across China. From here, the plot becomes very unpredictable, and even rather unwieldy.

It seems Charlotte actually has other designs on Lizzie and the movie takes a very dark turn that is not totally unlike “All About Eve” combined with “Black Swan”. But that’s just for starters.

The movie has a second act and a third act where it really goes absurdly over the top as the characters all seem deranged.

We don’t want any spoilers here, so we won’t give away any other thing, except saying that the sequence of the entire bus ride in China where Lizzie thinks she got sick because of a bug from Hunan, with her and Charlotte as the only American passengers, is truly tense, compelling and very engrossingly executed.

Several scenes also get a rewind to fill in some very significant blanks in the plotting.

The movie is also a very complicated and gripping tale of revenge with slasher tangents and all the bad guys (who are all not too distant cousins of Harvey Weinstein) truly get the comeuppance they most certainly deserve.

This could have been an average horror thriller were if not for the very driven performances of the two lead actresses who surely provide everything that the script and its holes sorely lacked.

The level of violence is very high and despite its cleverness, it doesn’t really achieve perfection. But it will remind you of similar guilty pleasures of bloodbaths like “Mayhem”, “The Babysitter” and “Ready or Not”, which all starred Aussie actress Samara Weaving.