The Perfect Mother (2022) review: Thrilling story let down by a poor screenplay

The Perfect Mother is a murder mystery thriller that follows Helene, who tries to uncover the truth of a murder that involves her daughter, Anya. The Perfect Mother is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Helene is the mother of two, Anya and Lukas. Her husband, Mattias, is a German doctor, and they primarily reside in Berlin. 

Lukas is a school student and lives with his parents, whereas Anya is a college student who lives in Paris.

One night, Anya and her friends go out clubbing, and she meets a boy named Damien Carnau, who is from an influential family. Unfortunately, he is murdered at his residence later that night while Anya is still with him.

Anya flees the crime scene and gets rid of the bloody clothes that bring her under direct suspicion, and gets arrested. However, Anya informs her parents about the situation and her mother immediately flies to Paris.

Helene hires her lawyer friend Vincent to solve this case, and both of them try to uncover the absolute truth while Anya keeps altering her version of the story. 

Performances

In the cast, we see Julie Gayet as Helene and Eden Ducourant as Anya, who themselves lacked chemistry. While the series didn’t intend to portray them as romantic interests, their dull chemistry fails to grasp the viewers’ attention.

For instance, when Helene and Anya argue after Anya is released from jail, nothing seems to make the viewer question the characters’ perspectives on the situation.

However, Andreas Pietschmann, as Mattias, has acted incredibly and was engaging in every scene. Julie Gayet is also a terrific actress but could have delivered a terrific performance if given an excellent screenplay to perform in.

Eden Ducourant has done a decent job performing the character of the suspicious Anya.

Positives

Being a mystery thriller, The Perfect Mother was averagely successful in keeping the mystery and suspense awake until the end. Adaptations are not easy, but this show does a decent job of adapting the bestselling novel of the same name.

The shots are adequately lit up and do a profound job of capturing emotions and character perspectives as required. Some scenes, such as the ending scene, feature a prolific colour palette and beautiful shots.

Negatives

No matter what story one adapts into an audio visual mode, the chemistry and onscreen engagement of the characters are a must. Unfortunately, The Perfect Mother lacks engagement with the audience through the screenplay.

One could say that it was a good story but lacked proper execution. In addition, the screenplay and the dialogues should have been worked on to make it more engaging and realistic.

Additionally, when we are visualizing a written text, the plots need to be connected somewhere, no matter how simple the reference is. The Perfect Mother lacks a strong connection between the plots. 

Rape is a heinous and grave crime, but the show fails to bring out the seriousness of the matter through a brilliant narrative. Even Helene and Vincent’s relationship felt quite forced together.

The narrative was linear but with geographical jerks. Some moments felt very rough, with sudden cuts between two different locations. This is an issue that both the screenplay and editing could have improved upon.

Verdict

The Perfect Mother is a good watch, considering the suspense and the story. However, it could have been far better if the screenplay and dialogues were as robust as the cinematography. 

Rating: 2.5/5


Also Read: The Perfect Mother summary and ending explained