The Scandalous Four

2011

Action / Drama / History / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 135

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 06, 2021 at 02:33 AM

Cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
967.93 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.75 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by l-chwalko 10 / 10

Interesting. What else do we need in low budget film?

It looks like a mature film. Also it's a chamber film, few people and relations between them in one place, I like it. It reminds me of "The dreamers" by Bertolucci and most of Polanski's films. Also I very much like the subject. Changes inside the characters after they have accepted their differences, which by the outside world would be considered intolerable and scandalous. I think some of the exterior shots are great (almost like Visconti :P). Much better than the interiors, but I guess it was very hard work to have them done right. At the beginning I hated these old English style of living/behaving but it's only my opinion. This is why I didn't feel good in the UK. I am a simple Slavic human being. It's a very interesting film, well made and with very good acting which is unusual in most of low budget films.

Reviewed by laslopaniflex 5 / 10

An unconventional (but a bit cheap feeling) period comedic drama.

*Spoilers within*

There are a number of extreme reviews for this film, either really harsh or overtly positive that seemed to have been written by friends of the filmmakers.

I wanted to give a fair and balanced review, to give a more in-depth look at the pros and cons so I researched the production and learnt a little more about the cast and crew.

Plot and script:

Lady Penelope (not from Thunderbirds!) is in an arranged marriage to Mr Jonathan Alexander. They move to the country where Penelope is left isolated while Jonathan has a gay affair with George the butler. After the gardener is accidentally crushed to death, he is replaced by Richard Reynolds, the love of Penelope. Both couples become aware of the affairs and team up to hide them from outside parties and therefore become The Scandalous Four…!

The script was improvised by a lot of the cast, using a rough treatment from the director. This is evident in some of the dialogue, which is often meandering and some of the expositional dialogue is pretty cack-handed. The plot is also a bit all over the place. It takes a while for the story to get going and then a whole bunch of sub plots come out of nowhere. It's 40 minutes into the film before Richard (the love of Penelope) comes back into the film after his introduction in the opening 10 minutes. I'd almost forgotten he was still in the film by that point!

In the final third, Penelope falls into a random plot coma and suddenly George the butler is announced as an expert shaman (!?!?!?) and proceeds to get Richard and Mr Alexander to help him perform some kind of pagan séance to bring her back from her coma. Where did that all come from??

There is also a superfluous voice over from Penelope explaining what is blatantly obvious on screen. "I was feeling isolated and sad" she states over shots of her looking isolated and sad. Really? Come on, give your audience a bit more credit!!

That said, the overall story is (sort of…) there. Two separate couples teaming up to hide their affairs from the prejudiced outside world (their country house being something of an isolated safe haven of tolerance and acceptance) and become a unconventional family together gives it some narrative thread. But this plot line is often lost and muddled.

The Actors:

Samantha Hills as Penelope has the difficult task of carrying the film. I thought she did a decent job as our protagonist into the story, but there were a lot of factors that had a detriment to her performance. She had a likable presence and, even with the pointless and dull voice over, I was engaged in her story.

Alistair Lock plays George with a humanity and subtle wit and shares good chemistry with Meredith Colechester as the conflicted Mr Alexander. The gay relationship developing and potentially tearing them apart works well for the story.

Jez Hughes as Richard is definitely a weak link in the acting. He has no chemistry/passion with Penelope and his delivery is flat and unengaging.

There's also some decent cameos from the fun maids, Penelope's flirty friend Reginalda and Cuthbert an oafish Canadian bring some nice comedic touches. Chris Butler and Gayle Dudley bring some much needed tension as a sinister priest and Penelope's shrewish Mother.

Directing:

Director Christianne Van Wijk has taken on an ambitious project for her first feature. There is a definite style/tone at play here, with a nice dry comedy, such as an amusing montage of terrible potential husbands for Penelope or scenes of drama/tension that are well handled (such as Penelope confronting Mr Alexander when he challenges her on her affair) Overall the balance of wry comedy and romantic drama is pitched well.

The themes of tolerance, love and acceptance give the film a positive message, and making a period drama with elements of comedy with an uplifting happy ending was a welcome change to similar types of drama. But a lot of those themes were buried/lost with random or pointless scenes. The spiritual based third act seems like a different film, is pretty cringey and veers into unintentional comedy.

Editing and cinematography:

It's fair to say the editing is definitely one of the weaker elements. It all felt very sluggish and made the film seem very cheap. The film is far too long which deflates any potential intrigue or drama (especially with the pointless voice over). It also doesn't do any of the actors any favours. They are clearly amateur and some of the badly edited scenes highlights their inability at times rather than emphasising their performances. The cinematography is also not flattering to them and the lighting/colour grading makes the whole thing seem a bit cheap and awkward.

Conclusion:

This genre has a high pedigree of production value, like Downton Abbey and big budget movies based on Jane Austen novels etc. As Scandalous 4 will be compared to that standard I think the director and producers should have done a lot more to make their film comparable to those productions. I appreciate the film was a no budget production, however the director also edited the film but needed to do a lot more. When you don't have big named actors/slick production values, you need to do everything else in your power to make your story engaging and stand up as an enjoyable viewing experience to the audience. And the story and themes would have been interesting enough to carry the drama, but the execution let it down. That said, if you fancy trying out something unconventional with an offbeat feel and can look past the amateurness of the production, you may find some fun elements.

Reviewed by dickonwalker 10 / 10

It is rare to find a film which conveys enough of a message to change the viewer, yet after watching this I find myself motivated to find more honesty, and joy in my own life.

This story begins at the start of a loveless marriage of convenience, placing us in the marital bed as the obvious lack of connection between the bride and groom, creates a painful awkwardness to which we become witness.

From here, the film plays with the well examined theme of repression and denial which was so prevalent in the social mores of it's chosen period, however the resolution of this keenly felt atmosphere from the early scenes allows for far more of its opposite emotions than many other films do, replacing those uncomfortable exchanges with a highly contrasted sense of release and liberation.

The characters were entirely believable and very much of their time, and although the journey each one takes is an unusual one I was entirely carried along on those journeys with each of them. I am not usually a fan of period dramas, I felt this film to have message that is entirely relevant for our times, and it in no way came across as though it was looking back nostalgically as an escapist reaction to current concerns.

The theme of the redeeming power of love may not be unusual, however the sense of this creative energy comes bursting through in the direction of this film, and illustrates without qualification quite how transformational the combination of truth and love really can be.

I highly recommend this film, it is a real testament to the value of a good story vivaciously presented. For both it's inspirational and entertainment value, I rate this movie as a 10/10.

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