Saturday, 6 December 2014

''Notes on a Scandal'' (2006 movie)- Review

Directed by: Richard Eyre
Released: 2006
Country: United Kingdom

Cast: Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy, Andrew Simpson

Genres: Drama, Psychological thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5


I was overwhelmed with a wide variety of emotions while watching ''Notes on a Scandal''. I felt pity.  I was shocked. Horrified. Sad. ''Notes on a Scandal'' is a powerful film about obsession, an overwhelming and intense film that remains so memorable, so intense because of the extraordinarily brilliant performances of the two actresses, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Judi Dench herself is probably the reason for which this film can never be forgotten. Dench's amazingly powerful performance is definitely one of those performances which you can never forget about.

Dench plays Barbara, an elderly schoolteacher. Barbara is strict and feared by her students, but in her personal life, she is extremely lonely, her sole companion being her diary. Secretly a lesbian, she longs for company, for a person with whom she can spend the rest of her life. Soon, she finds herself obsessed with Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), the new art teacher of the school. Sheba becomes good friends with Barbara. Barbara, on the other hand, discovers that Sheba is also a lonely person. Married to a man who is years older than her, Sheba is lonely, and Barbara makes up her mind that Sheba is not happy with her marriage and family life. Becoming terribly obsessed with Sheba, Barbara starts thinking that she will help Sheba get rid of this miserable family life. She thinks it would be nice if she and Sheba could live together, could live like inseparable companions for the rest of their lives. 

Barbara soon comes across a shocking discovery: Sheba is having an affair with one of her students. Barbara confronts Sheba, but however, says that she will not report Sheba to the school authorities, and through this, Barbara aims to strengthen her grip and influence over Sheba. Sheba is thankful, treats Barbara as a very good friend, but Barbara's views and intentions are different. She wants to possess Sheba. Barbara's obsession and possessive attitude  leads to such consequences that ultimately cause damage to both of them...

Why does this film remain simply so memorable? Why is it so overpowering? That is because it is simply so intense, such a powerful and captivating film. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett are simply excellent in their roles. Judi Dench's performances as the psychotic Barbara can never be forgotten. She is simply so powerful in her role. This is definitely one of her best performances. At the very beginning of the film we see her only as a lonely and bitter spinster. But this loneliness and bitterness lead to a much more dreadful thing: obsession. An illogical obsession with something that she can never possess. Over the course of the film we see her descending to serious mental disorders, caused by her obsession with Sheba, and this ultimately messes up her life. And it messes up the life of Sheba. The situation that we see them in is simply terrible. Pathetic. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett are amazing in their roles.

To sum it up, ''Notes on a Scandal'' is a brilliant little film, a powerful, captivating, shocking, saddening film, with a great screenplay, a great story and two unforgettable performances.

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