Film Review: Suffragette

suffragette copyMaud Watts is a hard working mother in early 1900s England who works in a commercial laundry by day while caring for her husband and son by night. Through a series of coincidences and circumstance, Maud finds herself associated with the Women’s Suffrage movement. While Maud at first is merely a curious outsider, the various men who want to keep her out of it push her further and further into the movement. As Maud embraces her political beliefs, the Women’s Suffrage movement gains in controversy and notoriety leading to numerous violent conflicts with the law and government in general while they attempt to get their message out to the world.

Suffragette is a beautifully shot and wonderful looking movie that certainly evokes the rough and tragic conditions of the time period while visually conveying the desperation the working class lived with and the struggle of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The story is fast-paced and emotionally engaging, complemented by excellent performances all around.

My only real critique of the film is that the story is a fictionalized telling of the British suffragette movement. Our lead character Maud Watts, played wonderfully by Carey Mulligan, is not a real historical figure but rather a composite of various stories associated with the suffragette movement. I just personally feel that this film would have had more power had it concentrated on the stories of the actual women involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement rather than Forrest Gump’ing a story
together, relegating all of the actual historical figures to being supporting or background characters. In the end it doesn’t really affect the power of the story, but rather simply misses the opportunity to  educate people to the historical truth.

Suffragette is currently playing in numerous theaters throughout the area including Cinema World Lincoln.

Suffragette (2015); Director: Sarah Gavron; Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep

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