There is absolutely nothing in Anatomy of a Scandal that you haven’t seen or heard before. It’s a very repetitive story where a Minister rapes his colleague, Olivia Lytton, who he had ended his 5 month long relationship with and then denies all the allegations. As Olivia has no evidence against James other than some pictures of assault, her lawyer cannot prove James Whitehouse guilty of the offence.
What happens next is interesting but not something that would make you fall in love with the series.
What keeps you hooked to Anatomy of a Scandal is its direction. It’s, undoubtedly, gripping. It doesn’t let you ponder or think of possibilities even in the mind. You stay in the present moment, with the characters. What I liked the most about this web series is the overlapping of scenes and also the filming of a few scenes that talks to you about the mental state of the characters. I think that is what keeps you glued to every scene.
Now, let’s talk about the story here. What surprised me is how women are either the same or the expectations of them are the same everywhere. May it be India or the United States of America. The wife is shown to be the husband’s support system. No matter what he does, she trusts him even when his lies slowly start to come out in the open. The way she perceives him changes is another good storyline. Her fight with herself is something that you, as an audience, would get more involved in. Because when it comes to rape and politics, you already know the outcome. The events that unfold in this American series are the events you would have seen unfold in an Indian series as well.
When I speak of similarities, I cannot not mention how after James Whitehouse rape and affair news comes out in the public, one of Whitehouse’s colleagues tells his wife that how men will be men and she should forgive him for what he has done. Not exactly in these words but yes, this is what he says and you sit back trying to digest what he just said, thinking to yourself – this is what happens in the USA as well?
So, that brought me to the conclusion that women are treated the same – everywhere! They are expected to stand by the husband, listen to his lies, take care of his children, give him a happy home to come back to, take care of his parents, and when he decides to walk away or worse than that, stay back but have an affair with someone else, she is expected to be ‘forgiving.’ Now that, for me, is not an ideal woman.
The ideal woman is the one who takes her power back after all is said and done and when the society cannot do justice, she silently supports the other woman, stands up for herself and makes sure that the criminal gets what he deserves the best.
Should you watch Anatomy of a Scandal? Of course, you should. There are no untold stories out there. It’s just the treatment that makes it different.
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Streaming On: Netflix