Anatomy of a Scandal review: Intense drama that glaringly highlights real societal issues

Anatomy of a Scandal is a British drama that revolves around a minister of parliament who is facing allegations of rape and how this whole situation affects his life and career. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


Kate Woodrose is a workaholic lawyer in London who is tasked with prosecuting a minister of parliament in a rape case. Something that she does not share with other people is that she is a survivor of rape herself.

James Whitehouse is a handsome, brash and supremely confident politician who has a knack for politics and devilish charm. He’s good friends with the prime minister and seems to be living an easy life.

When his former mistress accuses him of rape, his life begins to unravel as his reputation is tarnished and his relationship with his wife hits choppy waters. It is also revealed that in university, he was involved in a controversial incident that included the prime minister.

He has also been accused of raping a girl back then although it did not lead to any further action.

Sophie is a woman who was deeply in love with her husband, but with each passing day of the trial and each revelation, her faith in her husband drops significantly and she questions whether she married an honest man or not.

A high profile case regarding a very serious allegation puts a lot at stake for all the parties involved, making the verdict highly consequential for more than just the accused.


Sienna Miller is intense and scintillating in her performance. Her distress, her doubt, and every one of her emotions came across so gracefully and leaves the audience invested in her as a character and as a person.

Michelle Dockery shows off the duality of Kate Woodcroft’s character as someone who is determined and accomplished in their career and yet dealing with past traumas and showing a vulnerability that is so intimate and in-depth.

Rupert Friend’s performance as James Whitehouse is classy and passionate. His charisma shines on the screen while his confidence and arrogance come across as spine-tingling thanks to his delivery.


The story is well written, drawing attention to the plight of women in such specific situations and how the media tends to portray different people based on their influence or social stature.

The characters are showcased in a riveting manner, especially the female ones. They capture a wide variety of aspects in such three-dimensional portrayals.

The transition between scenes when someone’s account of events is being narrated was an interesting feature that was carried out well.


The dynamic camera work was often dizzying and unnecessary. It was done to amplify the dramatic effect but it fails to accomplish that.

It is a portrayal of a particularly depressing chain of events with the conclusion failing to land in an intended manner and feels more like a consolation prize by the end of it.


Anatomy of Scandal is a suitable adaptation of a novel that discusses some sensitive topics with not so much subtlety. Thanks to the brief duration of the series one can surely give it a look but beyond that, there is not much to write home about.

Rating: 3/5

Also Read: Anatomy of a Scandal summary and ending explained

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