Posts Tagged ‘The Iron Lady’

Sunday Review on Monday: The Iron Lady

09/01/2012, 08:00:44 AM

by Tom Harris

Margaret Thatcher is an interesting person. Hers is a fascinating story, crammed full of controversy and drama. The first woman ever to become British prime minister, she destroyed the miners, defeated Galtieri, defied the IRA, presided over record levels of unemployment, poverty and social unrest while enjoying unprecedented electoral success. Her dramatic rise to the top of the Tory party and her ruthless dispatch after nearly a dozen years at Number 10 is the stuff of Shakespeare.

So it was inevitable that her story would, at some point, be captured on celluloid, the former PM herself being portrayed by a noted and established actress. Whether you consider Thatcher the heroine or the villain of the story, her biopic was one that everyone with even a passing interest in British politics or social history would queue to see.

What a pity, then, that they made The Iron Lady instead.

It’s quite legitimate, of course, to use the device of an ageing woman succumbing to the early stages of alzheimer’s in order to tell a back story through flash backs. Unfortunately – and frustratingly – they seem to have done it the other way around. The Iron Lady is primarily about using a few very brief glimpses of Thatcher’s premiership in order to tell the fictionalised story of her loneliness and her imaginary arguments with her late husband, portrayed (unfairly) by Jim Broadbent as an intensely irritating individual.


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