No-one warned me I would need a hankie before I went to see ‘The Iron Lady’ this morning. I hadn’t done any homework on the film, thinking I knew quite a bit about the Thatcher years, having been an avid admirer of Maggie in her early years. Having had my own career struggle in the male-dominated business world in the seventies, I could identify with her struggle to get her voice heard in the male-dominated world of politics, and was looking forward to seeing how she did it. I could also identify with her resistance to being a ‘housewife’ and shared her desire not to die washing a tea-cup.
I was also looking forward to watching a film I would understand. Some films are so complicated, I need to see them again and again before I understand them, sometimes I don’t understand them even then.
Meryl Streep did a fantastic job. I was totally engrossed. She WAS Maggie Thatcher. I could feel her struggle. I could feel her triumph. I could feel her guilt. I could feel her pain. I became Maggie Thatcher. I cried buckets.
As Dennis left her and walked off in his socks into the light, the tears rolled down my cheeks uncontrolled, and dripped off my chin onto my scarf. My tissues were in my handbag, and I didn’t want to make a noise by lifting it off the floor, unzipping it, and fumbling around in amongst the keys and other noisy items that gather in one’s handbag.
To see someone I had so admired struggling with dementia cut me to the quick. There she was, at the end, washing a tea-cup, and the tears fell again. Somehow I could see myself in her place.
One day I will get around to actually reading Maggie Thatcher’s book I was given as a present many years ago, ‘The Path to Power’. Somehow I don’t quite think I’ll need a hankie to read that though.
Link to Wikipedia ‘The Iron Lady’ >>
Link to Wikipedia Margaret Thatcher >>
Link to YouTube trailer The Iron Lady >>