German Series in the USA
“Perfume” - sweet scent of death
Is there any such thing as the ultimate fragrance? One whose aroma is so irresistible that it renders people powerless? Inspired by Patrick Süskind’s international bestseller “Perfume. The Story of a Murderer”, the six-part thriller series “Perfume” is about a monstrous killer and explores the question of whether humans are in fact capable of true love. Or will we inevitably be manipulated by our own sense of smell?
By Angela Zierow
Naturally this thriller also begins with a corpse, in this case, one that has even been mutilated in a particularly unappetizing fashion. The beautiful Katherina, known as K, is found murdered in a swimming pool, her head shaved and her pubic and armpit hair expertly removed from her body. Why did this charismatic singer, who cast everyone under her spell, have to die? Roman (Ken Duken), her casual lover, even claimed that he was “addicted to her”. Soon, the profiler Nadja Simon (Friederike Becht), Chief Detective Inspector Matthias Köhler (Jürgen Maurer), and Federal Prosecutor Grünberg (Wotan Wilke Möhring) are investigating not only this murder. Is the key to solving the crime to be found in the past activities of a clique of teenagers who went a step too far in their secret experiments and quest for the perfect fragrance?
Elena Seliger (Natalia Belitski) sees the neighbor boy standing in the garden. A harbinger of the horror to follow
Investigators Brettschneider (Marc Hosemann, l.) And Köhler (Juergen Maurer, 2nd from right) and prosecutor Grünberg (Wotan Wilke Möhring, 3rd from right) investigate the crime scene and the victim with profiler Nadja Simon (Friederike Becht, 2nd from left) ,
The Beginning of a Fascination: Elena (Valerie Stoll) reads Moritz (Leon Blaschke) from "Perfume - The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind.
The rumors spread about Thomas Butsche (Trystan Pütter) drive him to extremes.
Profiler Nadja Simon (Friederike Becht) takes pictures of the crime scene and some of them are of a private nature.
The profession of perfumer seems to Moritz de Vries (August Diehl) to be much more than just that, it is a passion.
Daniel "Toothless" Sluiter (Christian Friedel) and Elena Seliger (Natalia Belitski) slow dancing, even though K.'s funeral is not long ago.
Chief Inspector Matthias Köhler (Jürgen Maurer) conducts a survey, he is fishing for clues about the perpetrator.
Elena Seliger (Natalia Belitski) faces the investigation and has to undergo further interrogation.
Perfumer is more than just a profession for Moritz de Vries (August Diehl).
Having been translated into 50 languages and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, “Perfume” is one of the most successful German-language books of the twentieth century. In 2006, the filmmaker Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”) made a lavish cinema adaptation of the bestseller, starring the then unknown British actor Ben Whishaw (who played Q in “Skyfall”).
The series also features opulent imagery and explores whether people can be manipulated by smells. In flashbacks, the six episodes unfold the drama surrounding five former boarding school students (Ken Duken, Trystan Pütter, August Diehl, Christian Friedel, Natalia Belitski), who for the past twenty years have been carrying a terrible secret around with them. The reason is Süskind’s best-selling novel. The friends had been excessively fascinated by the book, and found themselves abandoning all of their scruples in their scientific curiosity. The murder of the beautiful Katharina brings the clique back together, reawakening memories of sexual experiments, obsession, and jealousy, an unsurprisingly making their meeting at the open coffin a frosty affair. Meanwhile, the profiler Nadja Simon bumbles around the middle of nowhere in the Lower Rhine region in search of answers and a way out of her own joyless love life, wandering through forgotten landscapes that lack any kind of loveliness and surrounded by various unlikeable characters who all seem to have a screw loose.
The elegant blend of noir crime and dark erotic thriller proved a huge hit with series fans in Germany and abroad, though reviews in the media sounded less enthusiastic: “Fell flat on its nose” was the caustic verdict of the FAZ, while die Zeit attested that it had “no heartfelt note”. Spiegel Online even found the result so dreadful that it emblazoned its news website with the headline “Complete flop from the Lower Rhine”. So will the makers risk a second season nonetheless? Though no official confirmation has yet been forthcoming, the cliffhanger in the first season finale certainly offers some hope.
Germany 2018, Directed by Philipp Kadelbach Starring Friederike Becht, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Jürgen Maurer, Ken Duken, Trystan Pütter, August Diehl, Christian Friedel, Natalia Belitski FSK 16
Six episodes of approx. 55 minutes each.