Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Genre: Drama, Biographical
Country: United Kingdom, France
From a person who is very out of touch with politics andunaware of many things that I probably should know, but hey who tells me? Ialso don’t know much about Thatcher. TheIron Lady gives you a biopic experience that shows this headstrong politicianin her highs and lows and her arrival to politics. Meryll Streep is unforgettable and the flashback structure makes thingseven more exciting. Despite not teaching much in-depth about this fascinatingwoman, we see moments of her career that will likely want you to learn moreabout her. The film is quite plain in storytelling, but Streep’s performance makes up for it.
Meryll Streep wasthe film’s strong point, and so it should have been. Streep pulls of the Englishaccent beautifully and gives an elegant performance that is breath taking. Takingon the role of a famous politician is no easy task as it can raise speculation.Example: Imagine a film was to be made about say, Tony Blair, and Adam Sandler was to play the role. Itwould be somewhat of an insult. Streep has plenty of respect in the filmindustry, and with good reason. In no way does she insult Thatcher in thisperformance. In fact, she compliments it and definitely captures the audiences’interest. If it wasn’t for her marvellous acting, the film would definitely fall flat. And with the make-up, Streep has an uncanny resemblance to Thatcher, though more appealing.
Margaret Thatcher has been remembered for many things, somegood and others bad. One bad decision she made was not taxing the rich people,which lead to her being hated by many. She slowly became the most hated primeminister of all time when she increased the interest rates, lowered tax incomeand increased indirect taxes. It is hardto sum up some of her bad mistakes to read here for more info.
However, she also had some moments of glory, which, for thesake of shortening this review, I will not expand on.
The thing I respect most about this politician is how shechallenged politics. Few women prior to the 90’s had a chance in the maledominated world of politics and for women around the world she has been aninfluence of freedom and independence. As a character of this film, she appearsas courageous, intelligent and strong-willed. Thatcher tried her best to make adifference to her beloved country, and maybe she did make a few wrongdecisions, but the amount of pressure she went through was immense.
The name of ‘The Iron Lady’ comes from her strong will. Her friendwas assassinated and she was almost killed after an attempted assassination bythe IRA after terrorists attempted to blow up the Grand Hotel in 1984 were shewas staying with her husband. Did this make her back down or resign whatsoever?No, she kept her head high and said, “We must not give in to terrorism!” Therewere times when people despised her, and times when they adored her. But, what can I really say? I don’t know her personally.
I kept my own opinions out of this, as politics is simplythe one of the touchiest subjects next to religion. There are some things Iagree with that Thatcher did and other I don’t. Now let us continue with filmcriticism.
The film is made up of flashbacks in a most enthusingfashion. The film begins with Thatcher going to the shop to buy milk (one ofthe films little motif’s), and she returns to her house. We discover she is notmeant to leave alone claiming, “If someone can’t go out to buy milk that has becomeof the world?” Then we dive in to her memoirs that bring out humanity in hercharacter. Although the flashbacks are insanely all over the place, jumpingback and forth at times, the collage of moments in Thatcher’s life (up to now)worked out wonderfully.
The films problem is it does not teach you much aboutThatcher. It is very vague with what she done and the film could span 4 hoursif it wanted to. The storytelling tries a little hard to present the film, andsome people have even called it ‘self-important’. It is quite bland at times,looking lifeless and colourless as we enter politics, but the film has edgewith Streep’s mesmerising performance and humour keeps you going.
The dialogue felt natural and real, especially when Streepwas doing her speeches. Beside Streep’s performance, we had Jim Broadbent as her husband Dennis.When Thatcher is hallucinating, she sees visions of her husband, and that is wherewe really see her boast some emotion. Although quite foolish and clearly notoriginal, Broadbent’s performance as the husband to Thatcher worked fine forthose moments, and during the flashbacks. You may not learn as much as youhoped from the film. but it definitely serves as entertaining.
In conclusion, thisfilm for the older audience who are aware of Thatcher’s audience (and werearound during her time as Prime minister), the film offers hour, reminders andgraceful look-backs on her life through great storytelling. For others, it islikely to be an entertaining film that opens their eyes to this woman and mayeven encourage you to do some research on her.
My Rating: 8/10
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Produced by: Damian Jones
Distributed by: The Weinstein Company (US), 20th Century Fox (UK), Pathé (International)