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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “Bad Education” (2019) ★★★★★


© Courtesy of TIFF

Corruption is a part of society; in one it’s well-hidden under the surface while in another it’s open for the whole world to see. We can fight against information we have in our hands but what to do when someone does his best to hide it, using nothing but the taxpayers’ money?

Long Island school superintendent Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) and his assistant superintendent for business, Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) are well respected at their school. Frank is a true role model. He knows how to deal with any problem. There’s no such thing he would not be able to deal with. The same goes for Pam; she has children and a loving husband. Both Pam and Frank lead a luxurious life outside of their school; they have the best apartments, cars, and everything else bought with the money that used to belong to Roslyn High School. But when a student named Rachel begins her investigation after realizing the discrepancy in school expenses, she does what she has to, leading to USA’s largest school scam in history.

There is nothing better than having both Jackman and Janney sharing the same screen. However, the entire cast including Geraldine Viswanathan (as persistent Rachel Kellog) is absolutely mesmerizing. At some point, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry as the situation unfolds right before your eyes, which inspired by true events, is damning and horrible by all means. Despite that, well-written screenplay by Mike Makowsky and directed by Coy Finley, the film removes all the dramatic tension with a light and entertaining film that’s mostly funny.

In the end, what we see in “Bad Education” is what happens around the world. The same scam or fraud happens outside of school premises as well but that’s yet to be told. As for the film itself, it offers an unforgettable scandal that occurred in a school which hopefully was a wake-up call for others to prevent the same from happening ever again. But before we are introduced to something else, we have “Bad Education” to watch as a lesson how we should educate our children to not behave when they are sent to a society full of opportunities which sometimes are not positive ones.

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