The drive to be perfect at something is foreign to me, because as I learned from Tin Cup all those years ago, perfection is unattainable. While I think most are aware of that it, doesn’t stop people from striving to be perfect at something.But I have wondered about what kind of side effects that desire can create. Richard Shepard I feel has thought the same thing, but in a much more darker way as he tells his version in the sinister The Perfection.
As a former child cello prodigy named Charlotte (Allison Williams) has closed a chapter on her life she reaches out to her former teacher Anton (Steven Weber) with hopes to get back to her life she left some ten years ago. The two are reunited in China where Anton has his new prodigy Lizzie (Logan Browning) helping him search for the next one. While that search is underway his current and former star students make a connection and are soon taking a trip to get away from it all in rural China. That trip takes detour when the current prodigy becomes sick and her actions start a chain of events that will change all of their lives.
Telling a story that is part De Palma and part Chan-wook Park is really where the perfection part of the movie begins. Shepard who along with Nicole Snyder and Eric C. Charmelo deliver a dark and delightful story that has a series of WTF moments we crave in a film like this one. That narrative though is pushed forward by the performances of Browning and Williams who deliver the goods in ways you would not expect, it ends in a gear far from the one it started in. That’s not to say they are bad in the beginning, it’s just when there are zigs when you think it will zag you appreciate Williams and Browning’s near flawless deliveries. This film is wicked and at times trippy in all the right ways and so much damn fun. The Perfection understands the rigors of trying to be perfect and shows that being flawed is that thing that ultimately completes us, if the pursuit doesn’t destroy you first.