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The Iron Lady Falls while the Dark Knight Rises.
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2013-01-08 09:39
I watched the Iron Lady on TV last night and it was a travesty of a film, a confused mess.
It was not a travesty for political reasons; it could be said that the film gave a relatively balanced view of Thatcher's politics. She did what she thought was right for the country and was mostly successful at it. Indeed many on the left have balked at this depiction of her career as being too sentimental.
The travesty in my opinion was the focus of the film on an old lady in an advanced state of dementia having delusional conversations with her dead husband. This is not the Thatcher I know. MT's family did not cooperate with the making of this film and there is no way the film-makers can know either. The director has admitted that this part of the film is entirely fictional, so why include it this film other than to make a hatchet job of your subject?
Her life seen through the prism of her dementia not only makes the film morbid and depressing, but gives the impression that MT's entire life was lived looking through a deluded prism. Events in her life are often mixed up and distorted out of context and turned into parody. She often turns into a cartoon depiction of herself.
One such cartoon figure the filmmakers want to stress was that MT was a lone woman fighting in a man's world. When she enters Parliament it appears as if there is no other single woman in there and all the men around her look like clones. However the filmmakers then destroy these heroic illusions. MT says at one point that she prefers the company of men over women. That quote is true, but we are given the impression that she puts her career ahead of her family. Her husband complains that she does not spend enough time with the family and in another scene she coldly drives off in her car to Parliament while her children tearfully run after her. (In reality her husband Denis was completely devoted to her and her career and MT was an affectionate mother to her two children.)
The worst thing about the film is its comic depiction of the UK. It looks like an Americanized version of “England Town” . All the politicians (apart from MT) are male and wear the same dark suits and sit in small dark rooms smoking pipes sitting next to fireplaces looking musty. (Well, almost).
The common man goes on strike or starts rioting in the street at the slightest provocation: burning, looting and waving placards at Thatcher. On the other hand, when the country wins the war over Argentina in the Falklands, suddenly the people on the streets look like it is VE day with wall to wall Union Jacks and ticker tape parades for the PM. It’s all very surreal. At this point Thatcher is told that her leadership is assured and she can rest easy. However before we skip the next ten years of her premiership in a montage she is warned not to take her colleague’s loyalty for granted and it all starts to unravel for her as she begins to lose her marbles and attack members of her cabinet, apparently already the beginning of her dementia.
“The Iron Lady” is an odd title for a film about a lonely old woman in a state of dementia, seemingly in a state of regret for having neglected her family and friends over her career.
Much better you watch the latest instalment of Batman, the Dark Knight Rises. This shows another broken hero, Bruce Wayne, a loner hiding away in his house a bit like MT. However, his soul has been destroyed by an act of self-sacrifice in part two whereby he allows the villain to be the hero and himself depicted the villain for the "greater good". (Rand warned us about the soul destroying effects of this).
Roused from his slumber to fight a new villain, a hulk of man called Bane intent on becoming an autocratic dictator of Gotham, Wayne is almost completely broken and destroyed by him. Wayne does not fear death we are told, but nor does he value his own life it would appear.
Only when Wayne learns to value his own life, does Batman rise up again and fight the good fight and defeat the evil villain. This is how a film should be.
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