An almost worrying number of Netflix original movies come under fire for being uninspired and derivative to the point of outright banality, but that sentiment extends mostly to the platform’s English-language efforts, which offer identikit action comedies backed by recognizable faces and familiar concepts. International exclusives don’t mind throwing caution to the wind, though, which has worked wonders for Germany’s The Perfumier.
We’d be selling it short to say that the mystery-infused crime caper has a premise that can generously be described as a touch out-there, seeing as the story focuses on a female detective who lost her sense of smell while trying to track down and apprehend a perfume maker who concocts their nasal niceties using decidedly deadly methods, before they join forces so she can regain both her missing sense, and the man she loves.
A modern-day retelling of Patrick Suskind’s novel Perfume: The Story of Murder, bolting the broad strokes of the plot onto a quasi-grounded police procedural is certainly a choice, albeit one that doesn’t really pay off. Reviews have been mixed on whether it’s an ambitious misfire or an outright disaster, but one thing that can’t be denied is The Perfumier‘s status as one of Netflix’s top movies.
As per FlixPatrol, even though the film hasn’t managed to reach the top spot in any countries since being added to the library on Wednesday, The Perfumier has nonetheless managed to reach the Top 10 in no less than 73 nations split over five continents, which is a more than acceptable return for a 95-minute German flick that takes a well-known story and opts to make it even stranger almost entirely by grounding it in the real world.