Suffragette is the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, as they face off against the government and put their lives in danger to gain the vote and equal rights for women. Starring Carey Mulligan and Helene Bonham Carter, it follows a group of women as they deal with the struggles of their own individual lives, as well as fighting for the greater good.
Suffragette is a powerful and compelling insight into the lives of women at this point in history. The standout strength of this film is the quality of the cast; as lead character Maud Watts, Carey Mulligan is enthralling, as she shows Maud’s conflict between wanting to be with her son and her determination to fight for her cause. Helena Bonham Carter’s Edith Ellyn is also excellent, with her never-wavering support for the suffragette movement serving as inspiration to us all.
Because it is, after all, a part of our history. As a woman, as you sit there watching, you are reminded that this is your history, that the fight and struggles of these women allowed you to be the person that you are today. Through this, everything is more gripping; the heartbreak of broken families due to the movement, the torture that these women suffered in prison, living on the streets and hiding from the police as they risk their lives for better life. The addition of archival footage at the end, and a list of years in which women gained the vote in different countries, also serve to remind us of the true nature of the film, and are a great addition by director Sarah Gavron.
Though gripping at times, the film would shift to slow quite quickly; some subplots, such as that of sexual abuse in the workplace, also felt underdeveloped, as did the character of Emily Wilding Davison. For such an important character, she felt rather minor, and thus the impact of her character was minor.
Though it is, at times, a bit slow, Suffragette is a poignant film about the hardships that women faced as they fought for suffrage. With a brilliant cast and moving imagery, it reminds us of all that they gave up so that we might have a better future, but it also reminds us of the ongoing fight for true equality in the world.
Here is my list of my five favourite films and TV shows starring the wonderful cast of Suffragette:
- The Harry Potter series – Helena Bonham Carter and Brendan Gleeson
- Nowhere Boy – Anne Marie Duff
- Doctor Who – Carey Mulligan
- Spectre – Ben Whishaw
- Les Miserables – Helena Bonham Carter.