Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Colman, Anthony Head, Nicholas Farrell, Richard E. Grant, Paul Bentley, Robin Kermode, John Sessions, Roger Allam, Michael Pennington, Angus Wright, Julian Wadham, Ronald Reagan and Reginald Green.
So The Iron Lady is biographical British movie about the life of Margaret Thatcher who was the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This is a movie i wasn't expecting much from but the thing i was looking forward too was Meryl Streep's performance. The moment i heard about this movie and Streep being in it, i knew she was going to get all the praise for it. The Iron Lady failed to impress me in anyway but Streep certainly is the best part of the movie. This movie shows Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, starts off with the elderly Thatcher buying milk from the store while not anyone from the customers recognizing her. After that we see her struggling with her dementia and the weakness of her old age. And during all of this she is shown looking back at her own life and than obviously her political journey. She also imagines her death husband Denis played by Jim Broadbent being there with her and both kind of looks back at their life. They have a son Mark who is in South Africa with little contact and a daughter Carol with whom she has a fine if not great relationship. With all the flashbacks, we see young Thatcher working in her father's grocery store and listening to his political speeches very enthusiastically. Her struggle is shown as a lower middle class woman trying to find her place in the male dominated political scene and finding a way to fit in as a lady member of the house. Some of her trusted people are shown helping her through all of it and persuading her to stand as a leader of conservative party while helping her with voice coaching and the whole physical grooming.
Margaret Thatcher is a epic historical and political figure known for her non humanitarian approach towards everything and the fall of Britain in many ways. The problem with this movie apart from the technical troubles is that this movie shows a very human Thatcher, which she wasn't. It was suppose to be a biographical movie but the literally turned it into a fantasy by keeping the main focus on the old dying Thatcher with dementia and troubles in differentiating between present and past. She looks back at her life and thinks about how much she had to pay for the power she had but through all this, the movie becomes a mere drama rather a political docudrama that shows Thatcher that seems to be confessing to all the sins in the form of her failure as a Prime Minister and through all this it becomes a very cheap trick of showing only the overdone positive side of her life. This is one of the most flawed movie i have seen from 2011 with superb performance, the other being Albert Nobbs. The other major flaw of this movie is the terribly written screenplay, who the hell was sitting on that typewriter? It is a super mess, the non-chronological collage and mash up just becomes a mess in the end that drives the movie into a total bore. If it wasn't Streep, i would have literally slept through all of this, insanely dull, dried up and epic bore of a movie.
Some of the major problems that Thatcher caused were the rising unemployment because of the monetarist policies and the budget of 1981 that she proved. From the riots of 1981 to the miners' strike of the 1984-85 and the bombing in the Grand Hotel which nearly gets both Denis and Thatcher killed during there Conservative Party Conference. The Falkland Island decision and than the victory of the war to the economic boom of late 1980s. After that Thatcher is shown as a aging figure still powerful but ranting aggressively at her cabinet refusing to accept things, her deputy resigns after she humiliates him in a meeting. Michael Heseltine is than shown challenging her and finally the party leadership and the colleagues forces her to resign as a Prime Minister. The movie is moreover shown as a woman empowerment, a woman beating all the odds while forgetting what a real downer her reign and rule was if you could ask the people effected by it than you'll be able to know what difficult times those were. Meryl Streep is one of the greatest actress to have ever lived and this was bound to happen, only she could have played this character. I wasn't actually impressed by her in this movie and though there were far more better performances last year than this but yeah forget the politics. Meryl Streep bring the true essence of this dynamic political and powerful figure in a way it truly shocks you at how accurate it looks and feels like. The major role in this has to be of the Makeup artists who won the Oscar for it, they did a stunning work without which Streep couldn't have proved to us that she was her.
Some performances elevates a movie if the movie itself is flawed or poor and some drives the movie, i think the case her is the second one because not for a single second was i impressed by the movie itself than Streep. She drives the movie, she does all the work and i don't see any director or writer playing even a small part in it which is a big shame. This movie was suppose to be phenomenal and iconic but instead the performance take all of that away from it which is not her but the filmmakers fault. This is what happens when you mess with the actual work in favor of a fantasy or adding your own ideas instead of your own style and just making a mess out of the real history. A movie to be viewed only for her amazing depiction of Thatcher by the brilliant Meryl Streep, this movie has nothing else in it, very disappointing.