Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Review of The Iron Lady

This is the biography of the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher. A grocer's daughter passionate about principal, standing for what's right, her struggle for respect in a man's world, her controversies, loss of power and eventual decline into dementia. Set in current time, the movie portrays an elderly Ms. Thatcher played by Meryl Streep, who suffers from dementia and who frequently talks to her dead husband. The movie takes the viewer back to Ms Thatcher as a young woman, determined to make a difference in the world, refusing to end up and old woman washing her teacup in the kitchen. The story unfolds, revealing how she came into power, and progresses through her position in office then comes full circle into current time, showing her washing her teacup in the kitchen.

While many critics are outraged at the depiction of Ms. Thatcher's decline into dementia as being disrespectful and exploitative, I wholeheartedly disagree. I found the mood of the movie, very tasteful and compassionate. Dementia is quite common among the elderly and is a most unfortunate fact. Because the director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) chose to portray this fact, this movie brings to light thought provoking issues like, perhaps society should think twice before dismissing the elderly and all that they have contributed to the world. That senior citizens are not to be thrown away or disregarded, but honored for the sacrifices they've made. That regardless of their current state of mind, in no way does that indicate that great things have not been done.

Lloyd focuses on telling the story of the woman Margaret Thatcher while portraying key political events from an objective point of view. Not an easy feat. She shows that while Ms Thatcher made decisions she believed to be best for her country and people, she was still moved by human loss and suffering. Meryl Streep's high caliber performance is nothing less than amazing and her presence brings exceptional quality to an already high quality film. Regardless of what your feelings are about Margaret Thatcher, this movie is a must see.

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