“This is not a movie you look at and think “”That’s entertainment!””, but it is one that makes you think “”That’s important.””
The film follows a mix of fictional and real life women in early 1900’s England, who are fighting for their rights. Not just their rights to vote, but their rights to equality and fairness, the chance to speak for themselves and improve their own lives. The story is told thru the eyes of Carey Mulligan’s Maude, a young wife and mother who is drawn to the cause by casual curiosity and soon finds herself in the heat of the struggle. At this point, the women in this movement have realized that their peaceful protests and actions have done nothing to help their cause, and that the only way they will be heard is thru extreme action and even violence. We watch these women rioting, jailed (where they are force fed), setting off bombs, and generally being unruly. The more attention they tried to bring to their cause, the harsher opposition they faced, the more determined they became.
I read a review that complained that there was just too much done to Maude in rapid succession, that it ultimately undermined the movie. I agree that it did seem like there was some intense escalation of events and consequences for her, in a way that may seem a bit forced for shock value. But at the same time, all those events are rooted in truth. There were women who went thru all the same things back then. Sure it could seem like a little much, or trying too hard, but to me it felt appropriate.
I also think that Mulligan gave one of the best performances of her career. Certainly on par with her Oscar nominated turn in An Education. Lately I’ve complained about the way that women are portrayed in film, and this is a prime example of their potential. These are the stories we should be telling, and these are the characters we should be portraying. Mulligan was also joined by fellow previous Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter, also incredible. And in a small cameo, the queen of all actresses and champion for women’s rights today, Meryl Streep got in on the message.
With so much discussion today about equality for women, especially in Hollywood, this film couldn’t have come at a more important time. We have to recognize and remember what people fought for before us, and realize that the fight still isn’t over. We’ve certainly come a long way, but if anything, this film encourages us to take up the mantle and keep the dispute and discussion going.
Suffragette – \m/ \m/ \m/”