Saturday, June 23, 2007

Notes On a Scandal

Notes On a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2006) [6]

Dench and Blanchett's performances carry this film, and they have to, mostly because a lot of the story rings hollow after all is said and done. It's not that the situation that I find these characters in are unbelievable; by the end, the whole situation feels unearned to me. My main point in regards to this is the screenplay, which comes off as too heavy-handed and wordy. This is especially the case with all of the Dench character's narration; it just becomes too much. I always like actions and images to propel a film along more than words and this film really doesn't do that. The two main performances are strong enough that they cover up enough of the issues that the rest of the film raises for me. Dench does a great job at keeping Barbara restrained early in the film only to let her become less and less rational as the scandal grows and festers. I initially found Blanchett's performance a bit underwhelming, but after thinking it over a bit it's just as strong. Her character has to have an emotional nakedness that allows Barbara to be able to get to a point of manipulation. This leads me back to the ending, for whatever reason feels off the mark a bit from where the film had been going in terms of character development. There's no true punishment outside of losing a job or so on. What I really wanted was some kind of emotional punishment for these characters self-centered actions and that never really factors into the film at all.

No comments: