Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Iron Lady

"A man should be encouraged to stand on his own two feet. For those that can do, they must just get up and do. And if something's wrong, they shouldn't just whine about it. They should get in there and do something about it, change things." 

"I will never be one of those women...who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen."

I knew very little about Margaret Thatcher before watching this. I knew she was Britain's first Prime Minister. That's it. Thus, I found this movie not only entertaining and educational, but a learning experience.

It's done in a very unique manner. The modern-day Margaret is very old and one could say, "losing her mind". But honestly? I sort of see it as spending her remaining days on earth where she wants to be: in the past with those she loves, her dead husband, her son who is in South Africa... and of course she reminisces and through these memories we watch the younger Margaret rise from shopkeeper's daughter to a member of Parliament to Secretary of something (I forgot) and finally, to her own shock, PM.

(I can see why fans of MT are offended by the version of her going "batty", but as I said above, it didn't bother me because I saw her mind going where she wanted to be. I also think some of this was guilt. While she seemed convinced she'd done what was right for her country, she didn't seem convinced she'd been a good wife. I would have, however, have preferred they cut back on the modern scenes a bit to make more room for her rise to PM.)

And despite her husband's complaints, I don't think a thirst for power drove her. I think she honestly wanted what was best for England. She became PM in a turbulent time, when there were strikes, no electricity, garbage all over the street...

And she also battles with motherhood. We see a touching scene in which she's driving away from her more ways than one. The sixties and seventies were a time when women hadn't quite figured out how to master it all. I wonder at times, have we still?

I enjoyed watching this version of MT, her speeches, the way she stands up to the men who question her. I cried with her daughter as she realized MT wasn't all "there" at times. I can't imagine watching one's mother lose her memory. I laughed the moment she said her twin pearls were non-negotiable. I cheered when she spoke to the U.S. Secretary of State about Pearl Harbor...

But where was the queen in all this? Did she never assist the PM in any decisions? Funny that we never even see a meeting btw the two.

Meryl Streep...she did superb. Incredible acting. I was completely convinced.

I watched this on Netflix.

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