New lease of life ?
- Educating Rita review by GF
The story tells of Rita, a young woman of little education, who enrols for an Open University course on English Literature, a subject on which she is profoundly ignorant. She is assigned to a tutor who at first turns her away as an unsuitable pupil, but then, finding her intent on completing the course, reluctantly teaches her how to answer exam questions on literature in the approved manner, although he points out that this involves suppressing her natural feelings, and indeed even her personality. With a couple of excellent actors this makes an amusing story, but it is not clear what the filmmakers wanted for Rita, or wanted us to think about her. She works hard and makes impossibly rapid progress, but whether this is of value to her is doubtful. She is torn, or perhaps one should say liberated, from her old environment, she loses her marriage, her job as a hairdresser, and the friends with whom she used to enjoy herself at the pub, but she fails to find any new environment to which she is at all fitted. She seems to be left in Limbo. She passes her exam, for which she has been well coached, but if this is supposed to be a happy ending it is only on a very superficial level.
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