Friday, 13 January 2012

The Iron Lady

* Warning: Contains Spoilers
I went to see 'The Iron Lady' last week with my boyfriend and although at first we were both fairly dubious, we came away having enjoyed the movie and feeling that it was a fair and interesting interpretation of Margaret Thatcher as a politician, a mother and a sufferer of dementia.

Meryl Streep was always going to be fabulous in this film, as she is also a very strikingly powerful woman. Her portrayal of Thatcher was truly astounding and at times you forget that she is acting, as her mannerisms, make-up and style are uncanny. 

The narrative in particular was strong, powerful and the use of flashbacks to Thatcher's youth was often emotional and moving. Thatcher's relationship with her husband Denis, who is played by Jim Broadbent is poignant and the audience witness how they meet, fall in love and raise a family. Unsurprisingly in their relationship she wears the trousers, even forbidding him to cook his own breakfast! Her struggle with dementia see's her imagining Denis' presence after his death. She often argues with him and even cuddles up to him at night, moving scenes that are sweet and show a different side to the 'iron' lady. As a mother she is strict and focused, having very little patience with her children and instead preferring to focus on her career. 

Naturally there is a strong emphasis upon the fact that Thatcher was the first woman to enter Parliament, something that cannot be ignored. There are scenes which draw attention to this. For example when we see her little feet shuffling amongst the manly brogues in Parliament and perhaps most striking we see the women's changing room, which once had just an ironing board in it, actually becoming used for the very first time. Whether Thatcher did anything for women in the long term is definitely debatable but in the film it certainly is apparent that at the time her presence in politics was revolutionary and startling.

1. Cord Scallop Jacket: Topshop £65
2. Light Blue Scarf: Scarf World £4.79
3. Ostrich Lady Bag:Urban Outfitters £28
4. Elongated Chandelier Earrings: Urban Outfitters £14
5. Chanel Lipstick: Chanel £32.50 
6. Infamous Pearl Earrings: Pearl Gallery £98

I wasn't aware that the film was focused so heavily upon Thatcher's increasingly worsening struggle with dementia, an illness that affects the sufferer’s memory and attention. However I believe that it is this focus that makes the film so effective. It's particularly striking at the beginning when a once powerful PM has been reduced to a fragile old lady who goes to the shop to buy a pint of milk and is mortified at the price. She shuffles in her purse for a while for some change, however people in the queue are becoming increasingly impatient with her, totally unaware of who she is. This scene really hits home that no matter how powerful Thatcher may have been, her power and stature simple were no match for her struggle with dementia. 

'The Iron lady' certainly lives up to her name in this film, as we see her battle with some of histories greats to get her own way. The woman who ruled Britain, for better or for worse, is seen to be making decisions for the good instead of what may have been popular or favourable. Whatever may be said about her she certainly stands her ground and there is a very pressing scene when she demands Britain go to war with Argentina over the Falklands. 

Although I probably would count myself as a bit of a history buff, I don't really know the ins and outs of British Politics, so this film served an educational purpose as well as an entertaining one. I knew that Thatcher was a controversial PM because she ruled with an 'iron fist', making decisions that upset a vast majority of the public but that shamefully was the extent of my knowledge. I would definitely encourage those who perhaps would like to learn a little more about Thatcher to see this movie, however I think that if you aren’t a fan of Thatcher and her methods, you certainly won't come away liking her but you may just see a different side to her.

Finally, who would have thought that the release of this movie would have done wonders for the fashion world? Certainly not me. Thatcher was known to favour a palette of pastel colours, in particular silk blues. Since the film was released there has been an influx of her most iconic pieces on the British high street. Pussy bow blouses, structured and fitted skirts, court shoes and of course the Asprey Bag have all been favourites this season. She may have been an 'Iron Lady', but she certainly knew how to dress to impress.

3/5 Definitely worth seeing, what the film lacks in action it makes up for in plot and narrative.

Disclaimer: This review is based upon my own thoughts and findings.


  1. I absolutely adore Meryl Streep so I can't wait to see this film :) x


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