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Category Archives: Pathe

Suffragette

suffragetteSuffragette is the story of a fictional woman in early twentieth century London, who becomes involved with the Suffragette movement to enfranchise women in the United Kingdom. Maud Watts is an ordinary mother, working in a laundry to help make ends meet. We see the journey she takes as she goes from merely supporting suffrage, to actively and militantly campaigning for it.

This technique of using someone who becomes involved in a movement to illustrate how people interacted through history is one I appreciate. I think it provides a view of history that is easier to relate to, and is possibly more accurate as it doesn’t present history merely through the eyes of leaders.

In this instance, the ploy is largely successful. It is easy to empathise with Maud, especially as her son is taken away from her. But it is this element of the plot that somehow gets lost along the way. One minute she is a mother, and the next she is just a suffragette, and her son is neither seen nor mentioned again.

From a feminist perspective, perhaps there is nothing wrong with this. But the purpose of creating this fictional character as a lens through which to view history is to humanise the story. The tragedy of losing such a precious relationship could not be understated, and its impact on the protagonist should not have been overlooked. It is at this point that the film goes from being brilliant to being somewhat clinical, and having the feeling of a docudrama, rather than a film.

The dialogue, nonetheless, is brilliant throughout, and demonstrates an impeccable skill. Carey Mulligan’s performance as Maud is professional and engaging.

I just wish the writer, Abi Morgan, had stuck more doggedly to her initial approach.

 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 in BFI, British Film, Film, Film4, Pathe

 

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Slumdog Millionaire

I’ve always been moderately fond of Danny Boyle’s films. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, I just notice his name on the end of films that I like quite regularly. Slumdog Millionaireis different. I loved it, and was shocked to see his name flash up at the end!

Although the plot is somewhat convoluted with a bit of ambiguity in its chronology, the story is intriguing, and although I went when I was kind of focused on something else (namely a meal at my favourite Lygon Street cafe), I was engaged quickly, and the film held my attention until the end.
There are some great performances from some child actors, and spectacular performances from the adult cast, but the star of this film is definitely the cinematography. From the slums of Mumbai to the Taj Mahal to the beauty of India’s countryside, even the most dire of circumstances is presented beautifully, composed with a delicacy that is not common in films about this subject matter.
There aren’t many films that successfully depict the horrible realities of our world and retain a sense of possibility and optimism, but Slumdog Millionaire does this beautifully. I suppose I will have to reassess my opinion of Danny Boyle. If he makes another film as good as this one!
 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 in Celador, Film, Film4, Indian Film, Pathe

 

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