"Col. Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he's bringing Charlie along for the ride."
Driven by an extravagant, tour-de-force performance by Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman is the story of Frank Slade (Pacino), a blind, retired army colonel who hires Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell), a poor college student on the verge of expulsion, to take care of him over Thanksgiving weekend. At the beginning of the weekend, Frank takes Charlie to New York, where he reveals to the student that he intends to visit his family, have a few terrific meals, sleep with a beautiful woman and, finally, commit suicide. The film follows the mismatched pair over the course of the weekend, as they learn about life through their series of adventures.
Scent of a Woman tackles life important issues like values, principles and integrity and is done in such a way that it brings power and sensitivity at the same time. Director Martin Brest didn't rely on "tried and tested" Hollywood tearjerker formula but instead takes it deep from the heart and just overwhelms you with great emotions. If this film haven't touched you at the very least, then I don't know what will. What tops off this mesmerizing film is the intensity that the actors brought to the table most especially Al Pacino in one of his career defining roles as Lt. Col. Frank Slade.
In what is possibly one of the finest showcase of acting I have ever seen, Al Pacino disappears completely and minute by minute a new sentient being emerges, that of a blind man whose sarcastic wit and rip roaring voice demands attention and believe you me, you cannot help but get carried away by Pacino's superb performance. One shining moment is most definitely the speech that his character gave at the end. It is undoubtedly one of the finest monologues I have ever seen in the history of cinema. Great delivery by Pacino. Nothing more can be said, it is powerful, deep, grand, heart-wrenching and majestic. It is a testament as to why Al Pacino can almost be compared to a god, a living, breathing god. Chris O' Donnell, not to say he underperformed but he delivers as well playing school boy Charlie Simms. One might say he was completely overshadowed by an acting god which is not entirely true. He had some defining moments throughout the film and is overall fantastic.
Scent of a Woman is a must-see.