Manchester Historian

Student newspaper for the University of Manchester's History Department

Tuesday 12th December 2017 | Manchester, UK

The Iron Lady reviewed

For most people who go see ‘The Iron Lady’, there are a couple of questions that they probably wanted to ask before hand: how will Thatcher be portrayed in this? And why couldn’t they wait until she had died to make a movie about her? People have said they believe she will not be portrayed in the correct light whilst still alive, with producers not wanting to show her the way people saw her during 1980s Britain saw her, particularly the working classes. And I have to agree with these critical sentiments, after I cried for the 15th time during the film.

‘The Iron Lady’ is not so much a political story about Margaret Thatcher as a story of her demise in recent years, with a bit of history about herself thrown in the background. The film’s opening is essentially a preview of what is to come in the rest of the film, with Thatcher talking to her dead husband after she has made him breakfast (tear number 1).

Meryl Streep though deserves all the awards they throw at her as she is absolutely fantastic in her role as Margaret Thatcher. To the royal blue suits, the bouffant hair, the voice and the innate ability to make men run away scared, she has Thatcher down to a tee. Furthermore, she grasps the sadder, more sympathetic side of the movie perfectly, showing Thatcher as an old woman, remembering her glory days, her children, husband and friends and picturing her dead husband still with her, talking to her as if he was still there. This is where the movie, for me, should have been left just a few more years. Portraying a woman as a senile old bat who talks to her dead husband, cooks his dinner and picks out his suit for him is not the way the only female Prime Minister in Britain should be shown, regardless of what people thought of her and her actions during her 11 years.

I personally feel that the film included the right amount of history to keep audiences from becoming bored and making the film easily watchable to the masses, while dragging at your heart strings and making you think ‘oh she wasn’t that bad was she really’.

Note: everyone who hasn’t got an iron heart, bring Kleenex.

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