Suffragette

Posted on November 8, 2015

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Suffragette – London, 1912 – In an age when husbands were expected to speak for and control their wives, a 24-year-old laundry worker is accidentally brought into the Suffrage movement. Having worked full-time since she was 12, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) is now a wife and mother. After seeing her employer trying to force himself onto a younger co-worker, she decides to commit more fully to the WSPU. Husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw) is not at all pleased and eventually kicks her out of their home and legally bars her from their small son, George.

For years these women peacefully tried to gain their right to vote and members of Parliament continued to deny them. Led by Emmaline Pankhurst, they decide the only way to get their attention is by violence, stating “war is the only language men understand.” They were tracked by their own government, they were beaten by the police, they were imprisoned, they were tortured and still they kept on.

Filmed mainly in sepia tones, it helps bring to mind the repressed and depressed times. Meryl Streep plays Mrs. Pankhurst. She’s only onscreen for a few minutes but you just feel there is no one else who could have played this role. Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Anne-Marie Duff also star.

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