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Well it should have been interesting and Alicia and I were both really looking forward to it.  The subject matter was perfect, Thatcher is a fascinating character, and honestly I think you have to work pretty hard to make a bad movie with Meryl Streep in the lead.  But it was just very poorly executed.  The director simply didn't go deep enough with any aspect of Thatcher's life and so the results are very superficial.  At times it felt like she was going to really delve into the psychological and emotional aspects of her character and explore what made her tick as well as how she is handling the early stages of dementia/alzheimer's.  Then at other times it felt like she was going to do a "straight history" and just focus on the events of her (very eventful) life.  Then finally at times I thought (or maybe hoped) that she was going to get into some of the details of her politics and really explore the ideological tensions between herself and her political rivals.  Alas, she did none of those things.  

Instead she gave a nod to the emotional aspects through brief glimpses executed via a very awkward continual back and forth flashback scheme (imagine the first scene of Titanic with the flashback from the elderly Rose recurring over and over throughout the movie while contributing very little to the plot).  The dementia aspects while sad were mostly a distraction, and we saw only the barest glimpses of the emotional life of they younger Thatcher and her family.

She gave a nod to the "straight history" element as well, but again, it was so chopped up by the returns to the present, and so sparse on detail that the results were very superficial.  You could learn significantly more about Thatcher's life by reading the Wikipedia entry.  

Finally, the political element of her life was perhaps the most poorly and insultingly treated.  The director seems to have thought it sufficient to note that she was very controversial, imply that she was single-handedly responsible for everything from a decade of mass riots to winning a war, and then fill in all the gaps with emotional filler about how hard it was to be the first female head of party and Prime Minister.  Granted that is a significant matter and worth being treated, but it wasn't treated so much as exploited to make up for a very thin story otherwise.  

The whole thing was just trite and relatively boring.  There was no forward momentum (the flashback mechanism saw to that) and there was no substantive character development.  In a comic book movie that's a faux pas.  In a biopic it's a fatal flaw, a failure.  It's sad to say, but I think that despite great plot material and a great cast (particularly Streep of course) the movie is just a flop due to poor execution and lack of skill and imagination on the director's part.  (I note that she was also at least minimally involved in an ABBA concert film.  That probably explains a lot.)

 


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