Movie Review: “Suffragette”

Suffragette movie poster

“The woman wanderer goes forth on the path towards freedom.” She wonders, “I am alone, utterly alone. Why do I go to this far land?” And reason says to her, “Silence, what do you hear? Thousands, and they beat this way. . . Feet of those who follow you. Lead on.” – Quote from Suffragette movie

Suffragette

OVERALL: Wow. This movie made me wonder if I would have had the strength to fight as these women did. I will forever be humbled by their work and sacrifice.  A review below said “riveting.” That is the perfect word.

POINTS: How intimate the movie was as it focused on one woman’s awakening to women’s suffrage and women’s rights.

PITFALLS: *sigh* Stupid racism. See Cultural Pitfalls.

FEMALE CHARACTER(S): Yes!!! This movie has many wonderful women characters and many talented actresses portraying them. Hats off to our main heroine Maude Watts played by Carey Mulligan. Mulligan carries the movie beautifully, her close-ups and facial expressions saying more than words. Oh well done!! Cheers to Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff for their roles as well. And cheers to the men! Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw play their parts perfectly too.

CULTURAL PITFALL(S): Oh drat. I am really disappointed. I really wanted to love and adore this movie 100%. But alas, it seems the women of color are forgotten. And oh my I have learned that there were wonderful women of color, in particular Princess Sophia. It is so sad to me that this wonderful movie forgot a huge portion of women who needed suffrage desperately. It would have been very easy to have added an Indian character who was one of the major faces and people who helped Maude. There also could have been many women of color in the crowds and I must admit I looked for them and did not see them.  Part of whitewashing is to assume that no people of color were there. Alas, we know that is not true. So let’s stop showing it.

For more information on the mighty women of color suffragettes, read the LINKS below.

 Princess Duleep Singh, second left, and others collect funds to help soldiers at the front during the first world war. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Princess Duleep Singh, second left, and others collect funds to help soldiers at the front during the first world war. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

HIGH POINT(S): Ooooo the acting. The ACTING!!

NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS SO READ AT OWN RISK!

1.) Maude playing with her son through the window. Maude is thrown out of her house by her husband and is denied access to her son. As rain pours down she plays with him in secret through the glass making him laugh and telling him she loves him.

2.) Inspector Arthur Steed (Brendan Gleeson) listening to the sounds of choking outside Maude’s prison cell as she is being force fed. His gentlemanly horror was perfectly played.

3.) Helena Bonham Carter. I would want her as my doctor any day. Watching her health deteriorate but not her resolve was moving.

4.) Emily Wilding Davison’s sacrifice. Davison (Natalie Press) sacrificed her life to bring world wide attention to Women’s Suffrage. Wow. As the amazing build-up to her moment began I recalled hearing about her in history articles. Her final sacrifice – being trampled to death by a race horse – was powerfully portrayed. Wow. I remember thinking in the movie theater “That’s it. It’s over. They will now win.” It was a perfect moment.

5.) Emily Wilding Davison’s funeral march. If was so moving to watch the suffragettes collect themselves and line the streets to honor Davison as her hearse passed. To then blend into the real footage was amazing. I cannot even begin to tell you how moved I was.

END: POSSIBLE SPOILERS SO READ AT OWN RISK!

BECHDEL TEST (Website): 3 of 3. Hooray!

RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): 0 of 3. 😦 Time for a Princess Sophia movie.

IMDB: Suffragette (2015)

OFFICIAL MOVIE WEBSITE:  Official Site | Suffragette  |  Suffragette Movie – Facebook  & Suffragette Film – Facebook

DVD/BLU-RAY WORTHY: Yes

LION PAW PRINTS:  3.5 of 5.

LINKS:

Archive photo of Indian women campaigning for the right to vote.

“You know you’re a feminist when the first time you hear David Bowie’s song ‘Suffragette City’ you think ‘Where?'” – Margaret Lion

Suffragette Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep Drama HD

Suffragette Press Conference in Full – Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Abi Morgan

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2 responses to “Movie Review: “Suffragette”

  1. Suffragette is a meaningful history lesson, but as a movie, it plays like a slog through history class. Surely the women whose story it tells had more blood pumping through their veins than this drab retelling does. 🙂

  2. At a time when the word “feminist” has taken on similar pejorative connotations, and Hollywood continues to shortchange women everywhere from the director’s chair to star salaries, the film is a reminder of both how far equality has come and that the battle continues.

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