It was a movement that paved the way for women everywhere.
Suffragette tells the tale of foot soldiers on the frontline of the early feminist movement, who were forced underground to endure a dangerous game in an attempt to secure a woman’s right to vote.
The story follows Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), a reluctant addition to the band of women known as the suffragettes and for the most part, a work of fiction. Maud’s journey from an anonymous working girl to a wanted anarchist within the Pankhurst’s ‘Women’s Social and Political Union’ is most certainly, a compelling one. From the adamance of “I’m not a suffragette” to the slow awakening of a purpose, a desire, a movement.
Meryl Streep makes a powerful cameo as Emily Pankhurst, a political activist and the pioneer of the British Suffragette movement. Though short and sweet, Streep captures a devotion and wholehearted allegiance to the role that makes a truly dynamic statement with each line of dialogue.
Mulligan’s performance, as always was exquisite. It carried the film through its twister of characters and plot devices. It should not, however, allow us to overlook the exceptional performances of the supporting cast. Helena Bonham Carter as Edith Ellyn, a suffragette with operations running behind the scenes of a chemist, proved to be telling and compassionate as she played a confidante role to Maud. Often scenes were stolen by Arthur Steed (Brenden Gleeson), a special forces police officer who launches his best attempts to keep Maud from life as a suffragette.
The Suffragette Movement was a story in deserving need of a revived, cinematic telling. Sarah Gavron has succeeded in her direction of a powerful, historical drama that not only depicts an important social tale but exceeds in demonstrating how much the world has truly changed.