The Iron Lady (2011)

The Iron Lady (2011)

2011 | PG-13 | 105 Minutes

Drama | History

A look at the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power.

Overall Rating

5 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • The Iron Lady rusts into a melodramatic biopic that needed ironing out. Political films, including biopics, are often fraught with personal views from critics and audiences. Atleast that is what I told myself to explain the low scoring reviews. Having now seen this, there is a more sinister issue that has manifested itself. An ageing Margaret Thatcher, now suffering with dementia, remembers the fading memories of her powerful and prolific life. Regardless of your own political views and whether or not you agree with the controversial choices that she made. There is no denying she was an important figure in British politics and an empowering woman who stood up against her peers and rivals. If you were to watch this, you would've got a glimpse of that power and ruthlessness. Unfortunately, The Iron Lady feels more like "The Frail Woman". Exploiting an illness such as dementia and utilising it as a plot device to build a narrative, is terribly unscrupulous for any individual. Purposefully attempting to inject sympathy for the eponymous figure, it actually makes the whole ordeal cold and disconnected. Her personable qualities are detracted as we watch this once strong person become frail and weak, preventing you from emotionally connecting with her. At only 104 minutes long, about half of that runtime is used effectively in portraying Thatcher's career. But even then the Brighton bombing, the miners' strike and Falklands War were vastly glossed over to make more room for her dementia. It's unashamedly insensitive, which is frustrating when considering Streep's magnificent transformative performance. She truly became Thatcher, to the point where Streep vanished. In fact, the entire cast were excellent, particularly Broadbent. Newman's score is consistently good as always, and cosmetic aspects were well executed. However, for a film about the most uncompromising and longest-serving Prime Minister of the UK, this biopic failed to provide that power. A fragmented narrative resembling the degenerative process of dementia was not the correct method of storytelling. At all.