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Educating Rita Film Review

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Educating Rita Film Review 'Educating Rita', the film, released in 1983, was developed from the play originally by Willy Russell. It is a witty comedy about a married woman of 26 from the working class, who is determined to pass her exams thus making her education complete. Believing that education would help her find herself, she signs up for tuition in an Open University and eventually ends up crashing into the life of her tutor: Dr. Frank Bryant. Frank, whom had let his life become empty due to a failed relationship, is dazed by Rita's distinctive personality, and was reluctant to teach Rita at first for the fear of interfering with her unique insights to life. However, as he finally gives in, Rita learns many valuable facts from him about literature, as Frank learns many valuable meanings to life from Rita, thereby eradicating the burden from his life. The two form a special bond of friendship with each other as Rita has her noteworthy meetings with him. This light-hearted comedy focuses on the bond of two characters: Rita and Frank. Rita, the principal character of the film played by Julie Walters, is from the working class and never had the chance till then to complete her education. ...read more.


Astonished by Rita's unusual character, he was disinclined to teach her literature at first, as it only seems dead, dishonest and meaningless to him. Afraid that teaching her the English literature would mean losing her unique insight, he says: 'I don't know what to teach you...what you have is already too valuable'. A displeased Rita confronts him, claiming that he is the only tutor for her which makes him finally give in, successfully giving her enough knowledge required to pass the exam. Throughout these tuitions, Rita and Frank share stories about their personal life. These lessons soon become a huge impact on Frank's life as he slowly breaks free from his cage and learns to care for people, value his life and move on from the past. Throughout the film, those who have read the original play may have noticed many differences compared with the film to the play. Frank's girlfriend Julia has a long-term affair with another colleague, which never existed in the play. The existence of this colleague and dishonest behaviour Julia has destroys the image of the organised, strict, lady in the play. Another change was that after Denny kicks Rita out, he gets a new girlfriend, Barbara, who is even pregnant in the film, though in the play she doesn't exist. ...read more.


The film however had a strange soundtrack of the 80's synthesised music. The music was too loud and distracting, destroying the emotion and atmosphere rather than adding touch to it. In significant scenes where it is intense, the background synthesised music just ruins it, making it melodramatic, like the scene where Rita finds Trish unconscious on the bed. This is one big area the film could improve in. For the acting, Michael Caine and Julie Walters did a brilliant job, although Caine was more outstanding. Walters, looking and being much old than her character could not cover up that fact even with her young, high spirit in the film. The best thing about the film however -though credit should mainly go to the play- was that it kept realistic. There were no cheesy or clich´┐Ż lines, no lovey-dovey student-teacher relationship or a happy-sappy ending. Everything in the film was almost symbolic to real life and those who like reality more should definitely pick this film up next time they go to a DVD store. A fairly good film overall -though not overly impressing- deserves around 6-7 stars out of 10. It would be recommended to those who are interested in drama and comedies, and is essential to Michael Caine and Walters fans. However, this film is rated PG for vulgar humour and rude language mostly of English slang and is not for the weak-hearted. ...read more.

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