The Lady in the Van (2015)

‘The Lady in the Van’ is a tale of a delusional old lady taking residence in a writer’s driveway, and she’s there to stay.


Movie Review

A writer is dumbfounded after thoughtlessly assisting an elderly lady push her vehicle down his newly found homely neighbourhood street. This seemingly deranged, fragile resident soon finds herself occupying the timid man’s driveway. Adapted from the almost true story of  Alan Bennett’s acquaintances with Miss Shepherd, this piognant tale of community and how one individual can make immense impact on others.

1974 was the year that humble wordsmith Alan Bennett consented an allegedly frail, outlandishly dressed owner of an out-of-place van to temporarily reside outside his house. Initially, just an act of good nature, she inevitably stays situated there for 15 years after. Mr Bennett is a man of ingenious intellect who seizes life into his writing, consequently composing a tale about this irregular existence in his career. Reading up about the genuine events after viewing the film adaptation is rather fascinating

Maggie Smith gives the heartwarming performance of Miss Shepherd – the quirky, somewhat crazy senior citizen that is the talk of the diverse inhabitants of Camden Town. Throughout the entire feature, I must say that her portrayal was a favoured element, legitimatising the narrative through her straightforward and natural acting. This, accompanied by the consistent, insightful voice of Alex Jenning’s recital of the incidents he watched over created a well rounded charming narrative.

source: TriStar Pictures

There is a deeper meaning to this film, I believe. Not just behind Miss Shepherd’s perplexing personality and entangled past, but also behind Mr Bennett’s character. The way his inner monologue was depicted was accomplished and thought-provoking, providing more for the viewer to try and comprehend. The entire narrative was presented in a unique and engrossing way. As a recollection of events told through the speech of Mr Bennett, it exhibits a approach that is rarely seen in cinema.

This refreshing spin gave the story a fulfilling and well rounded outcome and enjoyable viewing experience. I think that the way passing of time was demonstrated was particularly effective. This was exhibited through the slow decay of the van, which was a subdued technique, turning out to be very successful display of the 15 years Miss Shepherd took residence in the community.


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