The Intriguing Conclusion of Perfect Blue
In today’s world, the fame and admiration that stars receive are beyond compare. But have you ever wondered if the real person behind the celebrity façade loses touch with reality? Do they grapple with psychosis and paranoia? Satoshi Kon’s debut film, Perfect Blue, delves deep into these questions.
Mima Kirigoe’s Struggle
The movie revolves around J-idol Mima Kirigoe, who enjoys a massive fan following but decides to switch gears and pursue a career in acting. She leaves her singing career behind and takes on a role in a TV show called ‘Double Bind.’ Her decision doesn’t sit well with her fans, who want her to remain who she was. Nonetheless, she perseveres and forms a bond with Rumi, a former idol turned manager.
The Descent into Chaos
As Mima embarks on her acting journey, she stumbles upon ‘Mima’s Room,’ an online platform publishing diary entries from her perspective without her consent. This intrusion into her identity, coupled with her regret over leaving CHAM!, the distressing scene she must film for her new show, and the constant fear of stalking, triggers a descent into psychosis.
Mima struggles to grasp her own identity, and the situation worsens as people around her begin to meet gruesome fates. This tumultuous journey leads to a shocking climax.
The Enigmatic Ending
The film concludes with Mima, now a renowned actress, visiting Rumi at a mental hospital. The doctor reveals that Rumi continues to suffer from delusions, often believing herself to be Mima. When Rumi gazes into a glass window, she sees the reflection of ‘Idol Mima.’
Mima departs, and as she looks into the car’s rearview mirror, she declares, “I’m real.” These closing words signify that only Mima truly comprehends her identity, while Rumi remains lost in her own mind.
Deciphering the Perfect Blue Finale
In the final act, Mima’s visit to the mental hospital sheds light on Rumi’s dissociative identity disorder, resulting in multiple killings and an attempted murder of Mima herself due to her decision to leave her idol persona. Mima’s act of bringing flowers to her ex-manager and receiving updates from the doctor unravels the grim reality that Rumi seldom returns to her true self.
Rumi’s encounter with the ‘Idol Mima’ reflection on the glass window hints at her perpetual entanglement in a perfect blue dream. Mima’s expression of gratitude towards Rumi for shaping her into who she is today portrays a complex relationship.
The Real Mima’s Revelation
One interpretation of the ending suggests that when Mima gazes into the mirror, she confronts her true self, while Rumi, when seeing her reflection, remains ensnared in the ‘Idol Mima’ persona. This implies that only one of them inhabits the realm of reality, while the other is trapped in an illusion.
Mima’s confident assertion, “I’m real,” when the nurses mistake her for a look-alike, indicates her newfound certainty about her identity.
Satoshi Kon’s Blend of Reality and Fantasy
Satoshi Kon masterfully blurs the lines between fantasy and reality throughout Perfect Blue to immerse the audience in Mima’s disorienting experiences. This technique makes viewers share Mima’s confusion, particularly during her struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Kon further intertwines the TV show ‘Double Bind’ and Mima’s real life, leaving audiences uncertain about when the fictional world spills into reality and vice versa.
Unraveling Rumi’s Motives
The film astutely illustrates that problems arise when the disparity between one’s self-perception (fantasy) and actual identity (reality) becomes insurmountable. Mima grapples with the transition from being a child with dreams of becoming a singer to a pop star aspiring to be a respected actress. Her ability to maintain a connection to reality, even amid uncertainty, allows her to find herself.
In contrast, Rumi, clouded by illness, never gets the opportunity to regain her grip on reality. Her forced exit from the idol industry, combined with her fixation on Mima, leads to a fracture in her psyche. The persona of ‘Idol Mima’ becomes her refuge, preventing her from embracing her true self.
Perfect Blue’s Exploration of Delusions
Perfect Blue is a poignant and gripping exploration of delusions, parasocial relationships, and psychosis. The film dives deep into the complexities of identity and the toll fame takes on individuals.
Your Thoughts on Perfect Blue’s Ending
What are your thoughts on the conclusion of Perfect Blue? Do you believe the Mima who left the hospital is a confident and secure individual, or could she still be trapped in a world of grandiose delusions? Share your insights on this thought-provoking finale.