The Iron Lady

Review: The Iron Lady

02 Feb 12

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o me British politics is about as exciting as counting rice, the prospect of watching a biopic on the barren Margaret Thatcher had me reaching for handfuls of Uncle Bens. A number of people for whom I have the upmost respect have told me that I should go and see The Iron Lady; they said that it transcended its subject's unpopularity and showed a side of Thatcher that I, or most uninterested people, wouldn't have known.

I consider myself to be open-minded when it comes to the cinema so I tried to dispel all pre-conceptions of what I was about to experience as I strolled down to the newly refurbished Embassy Theatre. I should have seen the early warning signs of what was to come, sadly The Embassy was having what they called "technical disruptions". I was happy enough to wait as the juvenile technician tried to figure out what was going on, but after 22 minutes I was starting to consider a refund and to head somewhere else. Then, as if the cinemas gods were paying attention to my fading patience, the screen flickered into action and the opening credits rolled.

The Iron Lady is the story of Margaret Thatcher, arguably the most unpopular Prime Minister in British history, and the film is delivered in a series of flash backs of Thatcher's life & career seen through the eyes an elderly, frail Thatcher (Meryl Streep). We quickly learn she is battling both dementia and long held grief for the death of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent). The plot then moves awkwardly between the seclusion of growing old alone and the highs of being a world leader. The film is an extremely personal portrayal about the true cost of personal ambition.