In the modern scene filled with consumerism and superficial lifestyle one can only reminisce about simpler times that once existed. The current entertainment world revolves heavily around celebrities and their image in society. This makes us think about how much we let celebrities influence our lives. Almost 25 years go, Satoshi Kon used this idea as a core theme in his film, Perfect Blue.
The plot revolves around a Japanese pop idol, Mima, who retires from the music industry and chooses to pursue a career in the movie industry. This decisions causes a dedicated follower of hers to take drastic measures to make sure the image of pop star “Mima” is not tarnished in the movie industry.
What Perfect Blue tries to capture through this is the idea of media consumption and celebrity worship, and how much that affects an average person’s life. Mima is haunted, not only by the stalker, but also by her past life. She always has a sense of self low esteem and the feeling of not being good enough which drives her to sacrifice a part of her each time she has to perform.
The image she had in her previous life as Mima the pop star drives the stalker to dedicate himself to protect “Mima the pop star” from “Mima the film star”. This show how delusional and lost one can get when idolizing celebrity figures. The stalker had built his whole life around Mima the pop star and any deviation away from that norm was too much for him to handle. Fame was the tool that allowed Mima to gain popularity and fame was the reason why her life was at risk.
The film is a dark take on understanding one’s identity (Mima) and the consequences that follow if you choose to adopt a new identity. Its very eerie and jarring as to how Satoshi Kon was able to predict modern day Idol and celebrity culture where everyone’s identity depends solely upon the famous figurehead they follow or worship and if the said famous figure does anything that upsets them or the standards they are to live by then the fans also have a mental crisis.
Perfect Blue is not a film that will be understood if you watch it once, it is a piece of art that demands you to watch it as many times as you can to properly understand it. And if you choose to watch it, you will experience a story like none other.