Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Iron Lady

Gosh two posts in one day, I might be getting into this!

Tonight, after my previous post, Michael and I went up to the Vue cinema at Cribbs Causeway to watch the Iron Lady: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1007029/ (courtesy of IMDb).

We had mixed feelings about this film. Meryl Streep gave an undoubtedly wonderful performance as Margaret Thatcher, Jim Broadbent was good and the film was engaging and emotional. However, as someone who doesn't know a great deal about Mrs. Thatcher's career, the miners' strikes or the falklands war (in my defence it was a little before my time!) it was hard to follow the political storyline. Michael had no such problem, being quite knowledgeable on the history of the Conservative party, so luckily he explained the gaps in the car on the way home. If this had been because there was just too much to get into the film and they had to cut bits out somewhere then it wouldn't be quite so frustrating. However I actually feel that it was partly to do with the construction of the film - quite why so much of it was set post-Denis' death I'm not sure. It seems a bit odd to focus on happenings now, when much of that is unknown, and all of it is certainly private, when so much happened in her career that could be explored. For example, her speech following the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton was alluded to but none included, and 'To those waiting with baited breath for that favourite media catchphrase 'the U-turn'... You turn if you want to - the lady's not for turning.' was sadly missed out, despite being a direct link to the film's tagline; 'Never Compromise'. Having said that, I do feel that her old-age was delicately dealt with - there was an implication that much of her fragile mental state was attributed to grief rather than dementia, and there was hopefully little to offend family members.

Overall I am glad I saw it, but I do think the opportunity was a bit wasted - I shall be looking up the recent BBC documentary on her rise to power to satisfy my historical itch, although it'll be a shame that Meryl Streep isn't in it.

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