Suffragette is a powerful, informative and inspiring piece of British cinematography dedicated to a cause well overdue. Abi Morgan’s script focuses on portraying the bravery of the women who had the courage to push on fighting for their basic rights in the face of crushing adversity. Through the story of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), a young and repressed factory worker beginning her journey to fight for her rights, we glimpse the true extent of the social isolation these women were subjected too.
Director Sarah Gavron maintains the atmosphere of hardship and struggle that characterised the lives of many of the working-class women who fought alongside the gentry through her barrage of close shots and explicit footage of the beatings and force-feedings they were subjected to.
Carey Mulligan delivers an outstanding performance as her character develops from a timid girl kept in her place to a strong fighter aware of her worth. It was a challenging and emotionally demanding role that she undertook with the respect it deserved. Mulligan is joined by an impressive cast – the likes of Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter – who act as pillars to the revolution, each of whom showed a dedication to their role evident in the quality of their acting.
Maud’s development is bolstered by the interference of the men in her life; Ben Wishaw delivers a brilliant portrayal of a husband desperate to instate himself as leader without the strength or ability to do so, partnered by the superb acting of Brendan Gleeson as the repressive and conflicted inspector Steed. In front of these large names Anne Marie Duff’s study of the provocative Violet Mille was incredible – the rawness of the emotion she portrayed in her role would challenge even the most emotionally resistant amongst us.
Suffragette is a commendable depiction of the Women’s Social and Political Union’s movement, however not much time is given to the National Society for Women’s Suffrage peaceful protests. The scope perhaps would be too big for one film but it was these protests that spearheaded the movement that emboldened women regardless of position to fight for their rights to vote and was critical for the progression of the cause.
Suffragette boldly confronts the issues women had to face as foot soldiers of their revolution that are often overlooked. It is a passionate and urgent film that all should see.
Suffragette is released nationwide on 12th October 2015.
Watch the trailer for Suffragette here: