I've been taking notes on the "rare" sexist scenes of the movie - turns out I now have notes on the whole damn film. Sure, the movie is one of its kind - it touches upon almost every aspect from the characters, plot, scene and lines to meticulously illustrate the story of a misanthropic, sexist, alcoholic fogey who takes a young student (who he'd just met) for his final days of debauchery before planning a poorly executed suicide in a luxury hotel room - and fails. Wait, what?
I won't ignore the only good part of the film - Al Pacino's acting. Declared a masterpiece himself, Al Pacino succeeds in giving his character, Frank Slade a poorly deserved breath of life (he honestly shouldn't have). In fact, Al Pacino's acting is so exceptional that Chris O'Donnell (Charlie Simms) might as well have been replaced by a walking stick to whom Pacino can give his womanizer advices to whenever he wishes. At least then would he influence, with his biased opinion, an object not a growing child.
Spoilers from here*
The movie feels desperate, trying to connect me to Frank Slade's companionship with O'Donnell. In the process, I'm disgusted by their "man to man" conversations about women. Women are literally a device in the movie - an object that is lovely, smells good and is physically pleasing, a way for him to be happy in his old and helpless age.General Slade and Charlie's conversation on the plane says it all - "Women, who made em? God must've been a fu**ing genius." To this moment I'm screaming internally of this portrayal of women as a man-made object. In fact, women made you, so maybe you shouldn't talk about their "Tits" or "What's in between their legs," as a "passport to heaven," Frank. And come on, we're really supposed to accept that he guesses an stewardess's name and features simply from her accent and scent? Just in case Frank Slade doesn't realize, the number of different women in the world doesn't correlate to the number of perfumes there are.
And worse, I'm not sure how any of these lines take part in making meaning out of the movie. ANY.
Hoo-ah, the infamous tango scene. First of all, why does he come up to the girl with Charlie and expects her to be pleased with Charlie's appearance? And second of all, if General Slade is there to help Charlie talk to the girl in the first place, why does he look more desperate to have a dance with her? Maybe I'm overthinking this scene, but with the conversation about "pu**y" and "t*ts" the scene before this, the tango feels as if the two (Charlie and Slade) already has come to a consensus that women are sex objects, making the dance seem lustful. Even without considering all of this, Frank Slade is clearly making an "offer" that the girl cannot decline. The lines considered beautiful in the film would be considered annoying and forceful in real life. I would be calling my assumptions an opinion until here, but when the film shows Frank asking his driver to call for him a sex worker, the "finest of their kind," and later walks into the house to get his business as "a man" done, I am utterly, and horribly disgusted. It's very much solid evidence that the movie generalises women as sex objects and isolates them. Has anyone noticed that every time a female character appears on screen, Frank has something to say about them? If not, please never watch the movie ever again.
Even with its film quality, scent of a woman never arouses an actual interest - the endless dialogues and Frank's loud presence bores me in the first hour. Crippling is its lack of rhythm, as the shots are linear in direction and the scenes are unnecessarily long and draining. The movie is highly predictable, and doesn't give many possible routes to where the story can go. Even the most important, climax of the film is elongated with half the audience already knowing that Slade is not going to shoot himself (although the same half of the audience would have gladly done it for him). Moreover, the movie hardly shows any efforts to make its melodrama interesting, not showing any emotional connections between the main protagonists. It turns out to be more counter-productive in its portrayal of sincerity as evident through its corny, happy ending.
I guarantee you that you'll enjoy this movie as much as you love bumping into a sharp corner or punching yourself in the face. I'll introduce the film to my two sons, as a bible to what they should never say and do - although I doubt they would even want to. Romanticizing discrimination is not part of their interests. So If you're someone who is already a sexist, hard-headed, emotional excuse for a human being, sure, go watch the film. If not, go refresh yourself with a speech on equality and an actual ideal, educated world. Have fun!
Scent of a Woman
Action / Drama
Scent of a Woman
Action / Drama
Frank is a retired Lt. Col. in the US Army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is at school and is looking forward to going to university; to help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over Thanksgiving. Frank's niece says this will be easy money, but she didn't reckon on Frank spending his Thanksgiving in New York.
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June 13, 2013 at 07:13 PM