Crime thrillers are meant to entertain the audience and keep them guessing on the edge of their seat. The audience is smart enough to realize – nothing that is presented to them is the actual event that they must believe the storyline will take them into. It is most certainly the opposite of it. That’s what we normally think because it’s the rule of crime films – having us surprised.
Hélène (Julie Gayet), her husband Matthias (Andreas Pietschmann), and their son Lukas (Maxim Friesen) are spending a lovely night together at their home in Berlin. It’s Hélène’s birthday that is being missed out by their daughter Anya (Eden Ducourant). While Hélène’s eyes are caught being on her phone, waiting for her daughter’s call, Anya is struggling for her life. She is in Paris with a young man who’s just been murdered – either by her or someone else. Hélène quickly leaves Berlin for France in the hope to have her daughter released from prison, not realizing the web of lies she is about to find herself in.
Right from the beginning, the police officers leave us no choice but to suspect that Anya indeed killed Damien (Charles Créhange). However, the circumstances suggest otherwise. When Hélène arrives in Paris, she meets her old friend, a former police officer, Vincent Duc (Tomer Sisley). VIncent is a lawyer now, whom the mother asks to help her with Anya’s case. The man promises to do his best, as he begins to question the circumstances, to find at least one little reason to distract the police from their main target – Anya. However, the more Vincent gets answers and becomes more confident that Anya is innocent, another puzzle destroys Anya’s story, bringing her back to being the main suspect.
“A Perfect Mother” is not just a story of a young woman who might have killed the man or the mother who does everything possible to bring her beloved daughter back. It rather focuses on her as a mother, Matthias as a father and their role in their kids’ life. Both parents seem successful, have a charming house, perfect children and jobs that allow them to fulfil their needs. However, there is something missing in that façade of happiness. The more we learn about it, the more it gets darker and darker. Therefore, there is always a question such as, is it worth it? Why won’t we instead of trying to build up a perfect life first learn to be normal people?
That’s why “A Perfect Mother” directed by Frédéric Garson can resonate with the modern parents that must look up for signs in their children once they’re left alone to grow in this world. We do not get to blame others for what we have brought to this world, nor should complain when our loved ones did not become who we wanted them to be. It’s just a choice one can make. Does it mean that for one to fall, they should be coming from a poor family or a wealthy one? The Berg family is rich and has enough money. Yet they do not have time for their children, therefore, causing a storm of reactions not even the perfect mother can handle. Because there is always a choice to be made – for or against the loved one. It’s then when the parental instinct kicks in. But what Hélène Berg does is what every mother should. But what is that, I hope you will find out for yourself after streaming it on Netflix.