There were moments in this movie when I felt like cheering out loud. Not necessarily political moments but there is one scene, for instance, when Thatcher is being gently grilled by her doctor. "How are you feeling Margaret?". "Feeling?" she replies. "Feeling? That's the trouble these days. Everybody talks about feelings. Nobody talks about thinking. Never thoughts. Or ideas. That's what I'm interested in. What people are thinking." Or to that effect.
There is a moment where the ageing Thatcher is bailed up by a young woman who heard her speak at a conference. She thanks Thatcher for paving the way for other women "to be something." Thatcher ponders, "In my day it was about doing something. Today it's all about being something."
It's a very intense picture necessarily so through the depiction of Thatcher's intensity. By the time it ended I was ready to get out of there. I had been led to believe it showed a lighter side of Thatcher. I couldn't find it.
You saw a woman who appeared to establish her principles very young and never waver. No compromise, no conciliation. Her husband is painted in a kind light. If there was any confusion about Thatcher at all it is whether she depended on him heavily, or drew all her strength inwardly. The ending doesn't resolve that.
The earlier times when a sharper division was drawn between socialism and conservatism described Thatcher's values simply. Heavily influenced by her father who claims in a speech, "Everybody isn't equal. That's a nonsense. Never have been and never will be. But they all need to chance to achieve..." (Again to that effect). His ideas are echoed in Margaret later fiercely arguing for the poll tax with her cabinet. "Everybody must pay some tax. Everybody must have some stake in their community. Even the poorest must have some ownership or do they live in graffiti covered, litter strewn landscapes?"
It is a movie I highly recommend (especially to John Key). Will you enjoy it? That is the wrong adjective to describe the experience. I didn't shed a tear. Strangely enough it will made me think rather than feel.
Sunday General Debate
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