Notes on a Scandal (2006)-English Movie starring Cate Blanchett, Judy Dench

Aug 22 (Calcutta Tube): Notes on a Scandal is a 2006 English movie starring Cate Blanchett, Judy Dench in lead roles. The film has won four Oscars nominations and won 11 other awards and 35 more nominations.

[ReviewAZON asin=”B000NIVJFY” display=”inlinepost”]Set in the backdrop of London, ‘Notes On A Scandal’ is a psychological drama of friendship, betrayal, lust, jealousy, revenge and scandal. Judi Dench plays the the character of Barbara Covett, an old lonely spinster who teaches history in a London school and is hated by her colleagues. When comparatively young Sheba Hart joins the school Barbara puts all her attention on this new colleague. Barbara’s only company is her little cat, and she keeps a journal where she confesses everything. The journal is a  much of a lively entity for her and probably her only friend. She is vivid and describes everything as per her norms.

When Sheba joins the school Barbara writes about her in her diary, and develops a kind of relationship mentally with her, and writes about all her feelings and comments. They both come closer when two boys in Sheba’s class engage in fight and Barbara comes to her rescue. They introduce each other and start a friendly relationship. Barbara discovers her estranged family with an old husband, a freaky teenage daughter and a son suffering from Down’s syndrome.

[ReviewAZON asin=”0141039957″ display=”inlinepost”]With time Barbara discovers Sheba’s physical relationship with a 15 year old school kid, Steven. Sheba confesses and thinks of resigning. But Barbara tells her that she would not complain if she will terminate the relationship. She uses this to emotionally blackmail Sheba to bring her more close to her – ‘to get everything without doing nothing.’ With time, she gets good hold of Sheba, who fights to manage time for both her new  friend and her family. However, Sheba does not stop her clandestine meetings with Steven.

But things change when Sheba cannot join Barbara when her cat dies. The pathetic old lady gets full with vengeance. She spreads rumors about Sheba’s relationship with Steven which in course reached the young lad’s mother. She goes straight to Sheba’s house and hits her in front of her family. Barbara is glad that all this has happened, and now that Sheba is in a mess at home, arguing with her husband and daughter, will eventually come to her for help.

Things turn out as Barbara has planned. Sheba moves into her apartment for some time. This is what the old lady has planned for from the very first day. But it is not long before Sheba discovers Barbara’s journals and comes to know about how her friend has betrayed her. Though, Steven has known who is behind all this. Sheba always thought that Steven has confessed to his mother about their sex affairs. She now realizes that it was Barbara who has done all this; she in fact never liked Sheba but just manipulated her. Sheba gets out Barbara’s place and yells madly at the media. Later she she goes back to her husband who takes her back.

Sheba gets 10 month imprisonment. Barbara has already got fired from her job. The film ends as Barbara befriends a woman, Annabelle. She is supposedly her new friend now.

The film has a terrific cast and a great script. Judy Dench as Barbara is excellent. She is cold, does a lot of talking with her gestures and eyes. Cate Blanchett is awesome in portraying troubled Sheba Hart with all her deficiencies, family problems and unable to resist to a tennager lover. The supporting actors are also good.

The director tells the story in a great style and a thriller element.

The film has a runtime of 92 mins and is rated R for some its content.

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