Bad Education Movie Review: Hugh Jackman's Film is a Searing Statement on Corruption in Education
Movie Reviews

Bad Education Movie Review: Hugh Jackman's Film is a Searing Statement on Corruption in Education

Bad Education Movie Review: Hugh Jackman excels in the movie that lifts the lid on corruption

  • Movie Name Bad Education
  • Director Cory Finley
  • Actor Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff, Rafael Casal, Stephen Spinella, Annaleigh Ashford,Ray Romano
  • Rating
  • Rating 3.5/5 Stars

Rating: *** ½ (three and a half stars)

Scams in educational institutions should not shock us. In fact nothing should shock us any more. But  this true-life story of  monetary embezzlement in a posh American highschool in Long Island where the highest administrator pulled of a 11.2 million dollar fraud, is stuff that so far existed only in fiction.

Bad Education turns the image of the idealistic educationist on its head to show us how big money is the big arbitrator of moral values in a society driven by greed and overt ambition. That this kind of  high-level scamming can happen in an educational institution  is in keeping with the value system of our times.  The movie does extremely well for itself in exposing the far from idealistic dynamics of  academia. This is as good a moment as any to reveal that Hugh  Jackman, as  far from the monstrous makebelieve of Wolverine as  humanly possible, hits all the right  notes as Francis Tassone, the suspiciously over-righteous superintendeant of the  high-end school. He is as cool as  the foliage that covers  his base and as smooth as the smoothies he drinks at work every morning. It takes a while for  the  stardust to settle in and the ugly reality to kick in.

Writer  Mike Makowsy gradually eases us into the dark side of Tassone, the secret travel to meet his  lover in Vegas. …Yup, Tassone is  gay. And  just when I was wondering what the hero-worshipping  parents of his school  would think of that, other murky  secrets tumble out of  the closet so  quickly it becomes hard for us to digest the filthspill. Jackman takes us through a life of shocking contradictions without missing a beat. He is the voice of stolen sensibleness, a figure of furtive aberrations. Giving the compromised  character some  compelling company is the wonderful Allison Janney as Pam Gluckin, Tassone’s right-hand woman and accomplice in crime. She drops out of  the scam investigation  soon enough.  Then  there is nowhere to hide.

The entire ritual of scamming is projected through a prism of surprise and acceptance, as we  first  repudiate than  understand  the  mind of  a man who has gone the other way to feed his hunger  for  a luxurious lifestyle. The scam is unearthed by a 15-year old student of the same  schoolwhere the scam happens.

It is a matter of great pride  for us that the campus journalist  Rachel Bhargava, is played by an actress of Indian origin Geraldine Vishwanathan who is actually 24 but pulls of the 15-year old’s role with  impressive  ease. Rachel is the  third-most important  character in a film where the  villain and  his accomplice take centrestage.

At  the end of the adeptly arranged true life crime thriller we are left with one nagging question: why?
If only we knew the  answer to that there wouldn’t be so many educational institutions that seem to  flourish from backdoor donations.

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