A Film With a Crass Title and a Profound Story Behind it



“Scent of a Women” is the perfect mix of good writing, a thoughtful story, and a perfect display of a dynamic character.

“Scent of a Woman” is one of the best movies that portrays someone just truly giving up. It conveys such a sad and melancholy message under the veil of an adventure/drama film. The only thing that detracts from this movie is its borderline creepy title and jarring start, before the real story can kick in and deliver the message that it so masterfully crafts.

This movie follows a jaded general, Frank Slate, who is blind and needs someone to help him get around. Charlie ends up being his companion and helps the general get around to his bucket list and ultimately convinces him not to commit suicide after completing all that he wanted to do. The synopsis doesn’t do this movie justice. The movie really is a masterpiece of storytelling and character writing. I would put this movie in my top five of all time.

This whole movie is carried by the masterful acting of Al Pacino and the terrific writing that shows very distinctly how a caricature can grow, feel sad, give up and try again. All of these emotions are done in a way that feels organic to the characters and the story.

One of the things that stuck out to me in this movie is how well Pacino’s character, Frank Slate, portrays a hedonistic sense of desperation and desire for the simple pleasures in life, and how that slowly changes to someone with just one more thing to care about. The colonel completely resigned himself to his illness and showed no sign of enjoying anything in life aside from what he came there for. Frank was a robot with a directive that had a couple more tasks to do before he could rest.

There were several high points in this movie, with the most impactful for me being the ending trial scene. It shows the colonel showing up to Charlie’s trial representing his parents when they wouldn’t bother to make it. Charlie is faced with expulsion and needs to either face his unjust punishment in the defense of his friends or he can rat out his friends for free admission into Harvard. Frank stands up and makes a fantastic case for Charlie, appealing to the disciplinary committee, and getting Charlie off the hook.

It is hard to put into words how this movie will make you feel. With adventure movies you can feel a sense of awe, with drama movies you can feel a sense of suspense; however, with “Scent of a Woman,” I find it has many different feelings in it. From melancholy, to change, hope, grief, anger, and resolution, all of these are feelings that are expertly displayed in this movie. I found this movie very entertaining and immersive. If you have the time and can stand the first 15 minutes or so of the movie’s vulgar start, you will have an unforgettable movie experience.