Suffragette Movie Review
Suffragette is a 2015 historical drama film directed by Sarah Gavron and starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Brendan Gleeson. It is a solid, important movie.
It is set in 1912 Britain and it follows the early feminist movement and suffragette riots. This story is very important and whereas the film is solid, but not great, I am happy that I’ve seen it as it captures such an important historical movement that I hadn’t known much about before. But thankfully the movie teaches you everything you need to know and it covers the most important developments in that year with solid execution.
However, the film doesn’t go particularly far in terms of details and sophistication. The protagonist’s angle to tell this story is pretty typical and the men here are portrayed in the worst way possible, they are basically villains. I did not like that as it wasn’t realistic. That approach was too black-and-white in my opinion. Also, I wanted more of an epic ending and although the listing of countries and the years they adopted women’s votes in the end was good, I still wanted more from that ending.
Maud is quite good as the main character here and her change in personality was smoothly achieved. Her husband I wasn’t a big fan of as he is a problematic character, but Inspector Steed was interesting. Helena Bonham Carter gave a good performance as did Brendan Gleeson whereas Meryl Streep’s screen time was too brief. As for Carey Mulligan, she continues to give fantastic performances and her work here is excellent. She had such a strong year with both Suffragette and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd‘ basically being her movies and she delivered in both of them. She’s such a good actress.
Suffragette is solidly directed and the pacing is mostly good as the film is never boring. On the contrary, I would say some sequences are rushed and the ending should have been longer. The dialogue is pretty good, but the screenplay not so much. The film could have been much better had it focused on more women and not just Carey Mulligan’s character. That would have made it much more epic. This is the type of film that should have been large in scope instead of intimate and small. Also, the film is at times too black-and-white and it covers just that year in history. I would have liked for them to have at least explained what happened prior to 1912.
The film is emotional, but isn’t as heartbreaking as it should have been given the extremely difficult and painful subject matter. It is very engaging and very well acted and mostly really well made overall, but it does have those big flaws that prevent it from reaching greatness. In the end, it is a pretty solid and important flick that needs to be seen despite its many shortcomings.
Suffragette is an important movie that although just solid in the end due to a problematic screenplay and some shortcomings in its approach, is still worth seeing for its very important subject matter, great performances with Carey Mulligan being fantastic as usual and an overall engaging tone and solid execution.
My Rating – 3.5