After directing the likes of Hallam Foe and Young Adam, director David Mackenzie returns with an ambitious film about a global apocalypse, seen mostly through the eyes of a budding couple, played by Ewan McGregor (here reteaming with Mackenzie) and Eva Green.
On an ordinary day reports start to flood in from all over the world of people losing their sense of smell. The government can't seem to locate the cause (Water supply? Toxin? Environmental issue? No one seems to know.) and despite telling everyone that the "virus" is not contagious they can't be certain. More and more people get infected and eventual the world starts to return to at least some form of normality. However, just as the world has gotten used to a life without smell another sense is lost... and then another and then another...
With a big help from Max Richter's wonderfully bleak score, Mackenzie manages very skilfully to convey a simultaneous sense (no pun intended) of both hopefulness and hopelessness. That may sound strange but just in the same way as films such as John Hillcoat's The Road or Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, Perfect Sense gets you to feel fear that everything isn't going to be all right but at a same time a strong hope that it might.
The film almost takes the form of different stages i.e. broken up into different segments each time the world loses another one of their senses. And it manages to do something quite unexpectedly powerful and poignant - it makes you appreciate the senses you have and probably take for granted every single day. Just as the loss of taste, for instance, occurs the feeling of appreciation for the remaining senses is just as strong as the regret of losing the senses that have already been lost.