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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Anatomy of a Scandal (2022) (Netflix)

Gender politics is a minefield to be sure, and it often comes down to perspective, as it does here. Peers may remark about entitlement, but whilst where one went to school may have some intrinsic clue about class divides, it is rarely so subtle as to effect affairs of the heart, therefore a beneficial upbringing, societally or educationally rarely has a say in the gravity of the moment. Only the response to that moment.

This Netflix six-part drama involves itself in the alleged rape by a married minister in the UK government and the effect it has on his family, colleagues and the alleged victim. Flashbacks of his earlier life, his relationships at University and particularly with the man that would become Prime Minister, are laid out as some kind of character assassination and when bad news is followed by even more, the drama appears to be heading in the direction of a story that feels decidedly one-sided, even if about half way through the prosecutor (Michelle Dockery) who is incidentally having an affair with another woman's husband is asked by him if she really believes she is right, not knowing she harbours a very real reason to be concerned about these most recent events.

"The encounter fell short of her romantic expectations."

This seems more like an aside than anything else, to create an illusion of impartiality as the story continues to attempt to highlight crimes of passion over sober and considered justice. The performances are excellent throughout and the edited visual flourishes are unique and really cannot be faulted even if the agenda the series is trying elicit a positive to is still inarguably and arbitrarily blinkered.

At six episodes the whole thing feels overlong and an exercise in relentless, mostly understated hammering which could have been done in half the time and still covered everything shown here without losing anything in a more concise, erudite translation.


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