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“The Iron Lady” Movie Review

The 2011 motion picture by Phyllida Lloyd titled The Iron Lady is a biographical film showing the life and career path of one of the most famous politicians in the history of Great Britain. In the opening sequence of the film, Margaret Thatcher is shown as an elderly lady at her home. Although she still retains the signs of her previous power and status, it is visually implied that she has lost a considerable portion of her fame and influence. As she visits the location, other visitors and workers appear to not recognize the former prime minister. Next, the narration cuts to the early years of Thatcher’s formation as a young woman from a middle-class family. The viewers are shown the beginning of the politician’s path to success, as she becomes enrolled in Oxford University and develops her pollical interests.

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As the film’s plot progresses, it shows Margaret Thatcher as a young politician in the Conservative Party of Great Britain. Being a woman in a patriarchal environment, she has to overcome severe ostracism and misogyny exhibited by other politicians. Through inner strength and resilience, Thatcher eventually earns the respect of her colleagues and becomes the leader of her party. The film takes its viewers through the main events of Thatcher’s terms as the prime minister of Great Britain. The list of the events comprises the 1981 Brixton riot, 1980s strikes, and the war over the Falkland Islands. Ultimately, the final day of Thatcher’s time as the prime minister is shown, and the woman is filled with sorrow. In the present, she admits that she has to move on from the loss of her husband, the image of whom reminds Thatcher of how strong she is.

From a historical perspective, Margaret Thatcher became one of the most significant personalities in Great Britain and, perhaps, the entire world. Thatcher had to climb up the career ladder in a highly difficult, sometimes toxic environment. The lack of trust in the promising politician combined with the general misogynistic spirit of the era was a real impediment on her way. The film by Phyllida Lloyd successfully captures this feeling of challenge, vividly showing Margaret Thatcher’s struggle in the early stages of her career. Simultaneously, most scenes of The Iron Lady manage to convene her strong, intimidating presence. To some extent, this effect was achieved through the masterful acting of Meryl Streep. Overall, the film is able to reflect the historical image of Margaret Thatcher as a woman who could easily dominate a room of experienced politicians.

On the other hand, this motion picture allowed itself to misrepresent some aspects of the real Iron Lady’s work and life. For example, the episode portraying Thatcher’s actions around the war over the Falkland Islands demonstrates intense drama on the verge of campiness. In reality, such a heated situation would require thorough discussions on the highest governmental level, but the protocol was significantly simplified for dramatic purposes. Moreover, as confirmed by Thatcher’s biographer, the film depicts other politicians of the time poorly. The significance of Geoffrey Howe and other prominent figures is diminished on-screen in an attempt to highlight the image of the prime minister.

Ultimately, The Iron Lady leaves a generally positive impression as a high-quality biographical film. It fully meets the expectations of its viewers by showing Margaret Thatcher’s strength and political wit. The path of her evolution from a young daughter of a grocery shop owner to one of the most important politicians of history is demonstrated naturally and believably. While the film contains some historical inaccuracies, they can be explained by the nature of the medium and genre. In the end, The Iron Lady humanizes Margaret Thatcher and shows her, first of all, as a person capable of love, fear, and sorrow.

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