• Ridha Rizqi Nafi'ah

Behind the Perfume: Grenouille Motive Doing Murder

A. Introduction

Psychoanalysis is a set of psychological and psychotherapeutic theories and associated techniques, created by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and stemming partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Over time, psychoanalysis has been revised and developed. Psychoanalysis designates concomitantly three things: 1. A method of mind investigation. And especially of the unconscious mind; 2. A therapy of neurosis inspired from the above method; 3. A new standalone discipline who is based on the knowledge acquired from applying the investigation method and clinical experiences.

Freud states that the view of art as the imagined fulfillment of wishes that reality denies. According to Freud, artists sublimate their desires and translate their imagined wishes into art. We, as an audience, respond to the sublimated wishes that we share with the artist. Working from this view, an artist’s biography becomes a useful tool in interpreting his or her work. “Freudian criticism” is also used as a term to describe the analysis of Freudian images within a work of art. Freud's model of the psyche are; Id - completely unconscious part of the psyche that serves as a storehouse of our desires, wishes, and fears. The id houses the libido, the source of psychosexual energy. Ego - mostly to partially conscious part of the psyche that processes experiences and operates as a referee or mediator between the id and superego. Superego - often thought of as one's "conscience"; the superego operates "like an internal censor [encouraging] moral judgments in light of social pressures".

In this discussion, writer chooses a movie entitled Perfume: The Story of a Murderer as the object of discussion. The focus on this discussion is the motive of Jean-Baptise Grenouille murderer girls.

B. Analysis

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German fantasy thriller film set in 18th century France, the film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an olfactory genius, and his homicidal quest for the perfect scent. To find the perfect scent, he murderer lot of girls. Connecting with Freud theory of psychoanalysis, which there are three model of psyche, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer can be analyze as;

The story told about Grenoullie who born in a traditional fish market. Since he born, Grenoullie gifted with a special nose. He can smell every smell in the world. His mother gave birth of him under the table. She do not wanting that child, so after the child, who she expected to die was crying, she run away, but capture and then be executed.

Then, he was orphanage and got bad treat from the the owner and the other child because he seems strange to them. When he was 8, the owner of the orphan sells him to Grimal the tanner. After growing as tanner's apprentice, he makes his first delivery to Paris, where he revels in the new odors. He following her and repeatedly attempting to sniff her, but startles her with his behavior. To prevent her from crying out, he covers the girl's mouth and unintentionally suffocates her.

His Id starts to come in this stage. He desire girls aroma. The innocent man already gones. He feels something which makes him enjoy that thing. In this movie, for his desire is so lust, he even strips the girl and sniff all around her body. Starts from that moment he badly want to capture girl scent so he can keep it and enjoy it where ever and whenever he is in. He desires, hopes, and wishes to keep the scent for he himself. He even fears if he can’t smell the scent and lost it forever.

When he go for delivery to a perfume shop Paris, he met Giuseppe Baldini, a perfume expert. He asks Baldini to teach him to capture a smell. As a replace he will make Baldini lots of aromatic perfume which will capture lot of people. Baldini explains that all perfumes are harmonies of twelve individual scents, and may contain a theoretical thirteenth scent. Under Baldini’s guide, he realize that he can’t capture all scent in this world. Grenoullie ask Baldine whether he know another way to capture a scene and Baldini said that Grenouliie have to go to Grasse if he want to learn. He made lots of mistakes before he can extract woman aroma. For capturing woman’s aroma, he kills his target and use cold effleurage to cover his target. Then from the cold effleurage, he can make the extract of a woman.

The Superego plays in this stage. He do lot of experiments before he get the right way to capturing scent. He learns from Baldini and realizes that the method does not work. Then he go to Grasse to learn. He does not get the right method right after he got there. First time he got into Grasse, he kills a young lavender picker and attempts to extract her scent using the method of hot effleurage, which fails. Then, he tris to using cold effleurage and succeed. No law can stop him. He grows in a place which no law exist and he never got a lesson for which right and which wrong. There is nothing can stop him. As long as he got what he desires, he do every way to get it. He does not care about which right and which wrong. What he knew is how to capturing woman scene and keep it.

He keep continue his murder. Upon his arrival in Grasse, Grenouille catches the scent of Laura Richis, the beautiful, redheaded daughter of the wealthy Antoine Richis and decides that she will be his "thirteenth scent", the linchpin of his perfume. After preserving the first twelve scents, Grenouille plans his attack on Laura. During a church sermon excommunicating him, it is announced that a man has confessed to the murders. Richis remains unconvinced and secretly flees the city with his daughter, telling no-one their destination. Grenouille tracks her scent to a roadside inn and sneaks into her room that night, murdering her.

His Ego starts to lead his behaviour. His desire to capture woman scent dominates his mind. Every steps he takes, always go to same destination. Capturing woman’s scent. After he knew how to capture a scent, he keeps continuing his murder lots of woman without any doubt. He knows what he wants and know how to get it. Without any hesitation he keep doing murder even it’s wrong.

In the end of the story, Grenouliie was arested. But, before he got his punishment, he uses the final perfume to his body. Every one smell the aroma of the perfume will think that Grenoullie was innocent. With the smell of the perfume, he trick all folk in Gresse and set him free. Even he can conquer the whole world he decides to go back to his hometown. In his hometown, in the market where he was born, he pours all perfume left in his bottle to his body. People around him misunderstood him as an angel. They crowd around his body till what left behind is only his clothes.

As from the synopsis above we can see that Grenoullie do the murderer only to collect the scent he wanting. But why he too obsessed with woman scene? Why he has to murder woman? And why he decides to go back to his hometowns?

Grenoullie never life close to woman. Since he was born he left behind by his mother and send to the orphan. In the orphan he got bad treat from his mate. After that he go to work with only man inside. When he go to Paris and smell women scent that he never smells before, he felt desire for woman scent is new for him. He desires it badly till after he killed the peach woman, he sniff all around his body.

Starts from the time he obsessed with women aroma because he thinks that woman aroma is beautiful and give a pleasure for him. Something new for him. A new smell he never recognize before because he always live in a stink place. He, actually obsessed with the peach woman’s smell. He collect all scent from different woman is to recall the scent of the peach woman. It is proved when he use the perfume to trick the Gresse folk his imagination go back to the past when he met the peach woman. Rather that scared of him, the peach woman accept him openly. All his desire, hope, and wish are to recall the peach woman back to his memory.

After he can recall the peach woman back to his memory, he got all he wanted. So, even he can conquer the whole world he chooses to back to his hometown. He thinks that nothing left after he get what he want. He do not desire for a castle or to be a king. All his desire is the peach woman. So after he got what he wants he choose to back home. Home which he only knew. Even though only sad memory left there, home is always be home where ever he go.

C. Conclusion

Freud's model of the psyche are; Id - completely unconscious part of the psyche that serves as a storehouse of our desires, wishes, and fears. The id houses the libido, the source of psychosexual energy. Ego - mostly to partially conscious part of the psyche that processes experiences and operates as a referee or mediator between the id and superego. Superego - often thought of as one's "conscience"; the superego operates "like an internal censor [encouraging] moral judgments in light of social pressures".

Using Freud theory to analyse Grenoullie’s motive for murderer woman, the Id is his desires to woman aroma, especially the peach woman aroma, the superego is his way to get the right way to capturing woman scent, and the ego is even he knows that what he’s done is wrong, he still keep doing it to get what he want.

D. References

movie: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. 2006.




#film #perfume #thestoryofamurderer #psychoanalysis #literarytheory #freudian #id #ego #superego #motive #drama #analysis #sastrainggris #criticism


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