Criticism: “Anatomy of a Scandal” (Netflix), with Sienna Miller and Michelle Dockery

anatomy of a scandal It is one of those series that cheat. That “Englishness”, its appearance of a solid political thriller coming from Great Britain itself, is due more to its status as a yellow tabloid melodrama than an elaborate portrait of a twisted conspiracy of power.

The plot follows in the footsteps of Sophia (Sienna Miller), a London aristocrat whose world changes radically when her husband, the minister James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend) is accused of raping a collaborator. At the same time we meet the lawyer Kate Woodcroft (Michelle Dockery), the prosecutor in charge of handling the case, who at all times seems to know more things than she should.

The series by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson, although it formally maintains its composure thanks to an elegant staging (but with some tricky solutions) and, above all, an effective trio of actors such as Michelle Dockery, Sienna Miller and Rupert Friend, ends up being the typical fiction that yields to the prevailing ideology avoiding its own and interesting starting point, that of sexual violence.

There are countless moments that demonstrate how, starting with a radical plot twist more or less halfway through the series, we find ourselves before yet another Netflix product interested in monetizing, rather than really investigating, the complexity and difficulty of the power games or relationships between men and women. The end of the story, in this sense, is faked and manipulative, selling a crime as redemption, revenge as liberation. An insubstantial series for insubstantial times.

anatomy of a scandal is well defended by its actors, stiff but valid (Dockery is ahead, as expected) and even has a few confrontations and speeches that remind us that behind the invention is David E. Kelley, creator of Ally McBeal Y Boston Legal (and screenwriter of Los Angeles Law), like the one that confronts two of the protagonists in the trial. Its first third works as a bit of a gimmicky thriller, a bit of a firecracker, with appropriate notes of political drama to elevate a worthy soap opera about the rich who -you know- also cry. So far so good.

However, the fetishes of an ideologically fashionable product soon rear its ugly head thanks to a couple of untenable and manipulative twists and reveals. Then we realize that the curious game of points of view and memories with which the series plays is filfa, that everything is a forced machination to deliver a barely conciliatory message and definitely “woke” about what has come to be called the ” privileged white man. In the end, what remains is the elegant presence of Sienna Miller and a staging that is intended to be shocking (that viral clip of the protagonist reacting to the rape complaint… flying through the air!) but that turns out to be rather useless .

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