Helen Palmer (nice_cup_of_tea) wrote,
Helen Palmer

"I don't want to die washing up tea cups", the Iron Lady

This evening I saw The Iron Lady with my best Zurich friend Kerry. It was one of those films which fills your head and sends you out of the cinema with lots of ideas and questions. Have yet to hear Mark Kermode's Review, and I highly value his opînion, but I loved it.

I never agreed with her politics, but was always a little bit in awe of her ability to have succeeded in a man's world. The film was about more than her political life. It was a history lesson of Britain in the eighties and nineties. It was a story about the relationship between Maggie and Denis, but also about the parent child (grown up) relationship between Maggie and Carol. The film switches between present day Mrs T, alone, grieving Denis, increasingly confused, seeing to and talking to Denis - and Mrs T from young woman to Conservative Leader to Prime Minister.

At one point she says to Denis, "I don't want to die washing up tea cups" - she wanted a life of purpose, a career, a life of service.

She also recognises the dichtomoties of doing versus being someone, also feeling versus thinking.
"It used to be about trying to do something. Now it's about trying to be someone."

The film also explores her "adaptation" to the male political environment - change of style, voice training etc. In one scene in the House of Commons, she is heckled with "calm down" - sad to think the female politicians are still heckled with the same insult. Sad that women have to lower their voices, temper their emotions, fit in.

The film for me highlighted her strength and conviction of stepping up to lead the party and then the country, her stubborness in not changing tactic when the political environment change and ultimately her strength as an old woman. Whilst desperately mourning her husband and being comforted by her vivid memories /hallucations of him, she finally has the strength to clear out his clothes, and "let go" of him, recognising her aloneness and isolation. And the film ironically does end with her washing up - perhaps an acceptance of the balance of political power past and family life fading.

I found it unbearable sad at times. Certainly a film to watch again.
Tags: films

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