Pacino's Col. Slade is a portrait of turmoil. Not because he's blind, but because he's never been able to rise above the blindness and still find peace with himself and with the world. One of the great tragic characters of recent years. His story is much like Hickey's in "Iceman Cometh" or Howard Beale's in "Network." They never think they do good in the world with what they have, so they find themselves in this dark hole and they stay there. No one can help them out. No one looks after them. No one feels what they feel. As years go on and opportunities are lost, the dark hole gets filled with a lot anger, sorrow and possibly regret. Can they be healed? Do they want to be healed?
In "Scent of a Woman," Pacino presents this dark, gloomy character perfectly in his Oscar winning performance. He overwhelms you with his constant bellowing and ordering of O'Donnell's Charlie. He's a man who never left the Military. My guess is that you can never take the military of out the man, only the man out of the military. He doesn't blame anyone or anything for his blindness. He's man who thinks that somehow, he was destined to "tour the battlefield" this way.
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