Watch Educating Rita
- 1 hr 50 min
Educating Rita is a 1983 cinema adaptation of the play of the same name by Willy Russell. The movie is directed by Lewis Gilbert and stars Michael Caine as Frank Bryant, a failed poet and alcoholic English professor, and Julie Walters as Rita, a married hairdresser-turned-student who enrolls in one of Frank's university classes. Michael Williams also appears in a supporting role as Denny, Rita's husband.
The film opens with Rita, a bubbly and energetic young woman, feeling trapped in her working-class life and longing for something more. She has a burning passion for literature and wants to be an educated person who is knowledgeable about the world. She decides to take a literature course at the Open University, hoping it will be her ticket out of the mundane existence she's grown tired of.
When Rita first meets Frank, he seems uninterested and apathetic. He's bitter and disillusioned with his own failures in academia and doesn't believe that he can make a difference to Rita's life. But Rita is determined and persistent, and she keeps coming back to his office to seek guidance and advice.
Over time, Frank begins to see the potential in Rita and starts to see her as more than just another student. He sees her inquisitive mind, enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge, and as such, he takes her under his wing and agrees to tutor her privately.
As Rita continues her studies, she begins to evolve into a more confident and self-assured person. She starts exhibiting a newfound assertiveness towards her husband, who feels threatened by her newfound passion for higher learning, which inevitably leads to a rift between them.
The impact that Frank has on Rita is profound; he is the first person who really listens to her and takes her seriously. He teaches her not only to read and understand academic literature but also to appreciate the beauty of poetry, in which she found a medium to express herself. Rita confronts her class prejudices and her own insecurities related to her family history.
Throughout the movie, we see Rita's academic journey, from her initial struggles to grasp the basics of literature to her eventual mastery of the subject. We also see her relationship with Frank developing and changing, from the initial mentor-mentee relationship to something deeper and more meaningful.
One of the most striking elements of Educating Rita is the feeling of hope that permeates the film. Both Rita and Frank are flawed and damaged characters, but through their working relationship, they are able to empower each other and find redemption. The film embodies the idea that education and personal growth are never too late and that it is never too late to discover your true self and your own passion.
The movie concludes with an empowering message that Frank's and Rita's relationship cannot go beyond the tutors' & students' professional relationship. The final scene sums up Rita's evolution from a working-class hairdresser to a confident and self-assured person, who finally learned to value herself and her academic accomplishment.
Overall, Educating Rita is a heartwarming and inspiring story of personal growth, self-discovery and the transformative power of education. It is a must-watch for anyone who has ever felt stuck in their own life and is searching for a way to break free from their limitations.