Suffragette

by | Oct 30, 2015 | 0 comments

A Film With An Incredibly Important Message that Forgets Its a Film

Suffragette is a film with an incredibly important political message that should be heard all around the world by both female and male audiences. The film is ripe with great actors, but the actual story and dialogue are too raunchy and stuck with their own political message rather than in making a film.

Suffragette is a film that tells of the woman’s suffragette movement, to get the right to vote, in Britain in 1912. The film follows Maud Watts (a fantastic Carrie Mulligan) who is a working class woman working as a seamstress at the factories. Maud lives happily with her husband Sonny (Ben Wishaw) and their son George (Adam Michael Dodd). Maud, however, begins bumping into activists of the suffragette movement and she ends up being pulled in by her co-worker Violet Miller (Anne-Marie Duff) and pharmacist Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter). The film follows Maud as she transitions from being a loving wife and mother, to looking into the interests of her own rights. Sonny is a good man, but his political ideology is that of an ultra conservative, thus Maud is forced to choose between the movement and her family.

The film has an incredibly important message that is still relevant today, as women’s rights are not being addressed properly around the world. However, the script itself seems to have taken the line “votes for women” and repeats it over and over again with the casual use of a thesaurus. This causes the film to seem less like a story and more like a politician’s speech. After 40 minutes you’re already checking your watch and sighing at how little time has passed. The film has a great cast of actors, but they are given flat characters with political slogans for lines. The film also fails to show a mixed view of the two genders, it takes on an incredibly extremist view and portrays all the men as evil and all the women as poor and innocent beings. While the majority of each gender might seem to fit those descriptions at the time it is very ignorant to not show the good and bad of each side.

The acting and the production and costuming are what save this film. Carrie Mulligan is able to give Maud a dimension that the script didn’t give her. She helps the audience live the transition from conservative and obedient wife to political agitator with a credible pace. She also has good chemistry on screen with her son and with Sonny, something that ups the stakes that the script had otherwise ignored. You also have actors like Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep (playing an investigator and the leader of the movement, Emily Pankhurst, respectively) who seem to have cameo-like roles, which is a shame because they are both great veteran actors that could have added some excitement to the film. Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic but she also is seen little on screen. Ben Wishaw is great as a confused husband who doesn’t understand why the status quo should be upset. Wishaw is an incredible actor, he really stood out to me in Cloud Atlas and he has given successful performances in other films as Spectre and Paddington; he gives it his all in Suffragette but his character is too small for it to have made a difference.

The production and costuming is spot on, but in the end, that alone and Mulligan cannot carry a whole film throughout. The film is too on the nose with the same message so that it makes it incredibly long and obnoxious for the audience.  

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 53% 53%

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What is your favorite female rights movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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