Review Anatomy of a Scandal – A Netflix Movie

In the age of #metoo movie like She Said enlighten, remind and inspire people to do the right thing when it comes to respect diversity and equality, or even just doing the appropriate thing at work. It is the kind of movies once in a while we all need to watch to remind us about the value we should hold dear in our every day conducts. Movie like Anatomy of a Scandal on the other hand also remind people there are indeed darker side of work when it comes to relationship-at-work. I have to say that I find it uncomfortable to watch this movie because as a leader it becomes too stark on how things could really gone wrong at work. Yet, it is also a movie with a message we all need to be reminded to continue to walk narrow everyday.

This movie is headlined by Sienna Miller and Rupert Friend ( Sophie and James Whitehouse ), Michelle Dockery ( Kate Woodcroft ) and Naomi Scott ( Olivia Lytton ). This is a gorgeous ensemble cast especially for drama as intense as this as it can be, gorgeous in all kind of sense. The story itself spanned several decades on Sophie and James Whitehouse lives, since they are in university until current life. Both have sparkling lives where James is a Junior Minister beloved by women and good friend of Prime Minister (there is a pivotal side story apparently) while Sophie is a stay at home mother to two lovely children, a well off family who can afford au pair. And then a scandal hit, an affair that turn to rape with Olivia who is James’ analyst. Kate is the barrister who handled the case (and with her own baggage). Sarah Vauhan as the author put forth a great story where variety dilemma come into the picture. Should James be punished ? Is Sophie and Kate antagonist or protagonist characters ? There is an MP in one of the scene that share his wife’s motto, ‘Once is ok but twice is too much’, how do we feel about this ? How do we feel about mothers who let her precious sons / daughters to cheat and see it as amusing things ? To then put this into short series, it is an amazing feat really.

If you only watch the movie, the actings are truly solid. You can see the intensity of dilemma for Kate, ambiguity lying or not from James, and Sienna’s acting as to be the perfect wife of ‘her class’ despite she is disgusting with the situation. However when you actually read the book, the story is actually much darker than what the movie portrayed. The dilemma even more intense and your feeling toward James maybe negatively stronger. The book, at least to me, has smarter storyline and more twists. But then, the technique to translate book that has a lot more space to build richer storyline into a 2 hours movie, requires very smart pruning, in which the movie has done, too. The acting is delivering the pruned storyline appropriate for a 2 hour movie.

It is a really great movie to watch before dinner and then you have late dinner with your friends and have a lively one, that debate many dilemma that has a lot of dimensions of right and wrong. If you want to end your year with reflection and discussion work and personal life-wise with your friends and families, this is one you may want to consider.

Verdict : Interesting Watch and if you like reading more, read the book.

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