Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep
Director: Sarah Gavron
Running Time: 106 mins
Suffragette is a British film about the true story of the soldiers of the feminist movement in Britain during the early 20th Century, as women up and down the country, and subsequently across the world, fought for the right to vote against an oppressive male-dominated society.
The story of the Suffragette movement in Britain is a legendary one, and one of such historical importance about the brutality of traditional oppression even in developed countries, and the innovative aggression taken up by the women to have their voices heard.
However, this film unfortunately fails to live up to that legacy. This should have been a powerfully emotionally and politically charged drama, with a dark, brutal atmosphere to highlight the terrible oppression these women faced, but all it actually is is a disappointingly dry history lesson that lacks the passion of the story it’s trying to tell.
For starters, this isn’t an awful film. The plot in itself is interesting, in a historical manner, and some of the performances are decent, but nothing spectacular, and definitely not Oscar-worthy, so if you’re not really into the history of the Suffragettes, this isn’t the film to learn from, because there’s nothing truly outstanding to grab you and give you a convincing lesson about the incredible true story.
On occasion, the film does manage to give some emotional angst to Carey Mulligan’s main character and her relationship with her son, and in those few scenes, it is quite something, but on the whole, there’s next to no powerful emotion throughout here, and you just don’t really feel the brutal oppression that would make you care for these women.
Yes, the oppression and the brutality is clearly presented on screen, but the reason that you don’t feel it is because this film as a whole really lacks the passion to give a convincing representation of the history. If you think about the Suffragette movement, it’s one of the most aggressive and powerful movements of all time, fuelled by the incredible passion that the people behind it felt as they sought to break free from their oppressed lifestyles.
So you would think that the film telling that story would try to evoke that in some way, and although you can see the odd spirited attempt by lead actresses Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff to do so, you get next to no real feeling of that political passion at any point in the film, which is a real disappointment.
Overall, Suffragette was not a particularly impressive film, because despite telling what is a historically interesting story, it fails to deliver the passionate and captivating details of what is a genuinely incredible true story, and that’s why it gets a 6.9 from me.