Every year in the late months there is a movie released no one will see, but people should see at least once to realize how far we have come as a society. This year’s hard to watch movie with an important story in Suffragette. Based on true events, Suffragette stars Carry Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter as feminist rebels of the early 20th Century who fought for women’s right to vote in England.
The film gives a glimpse of life for these women who were underpaid and forced to work in hostile work environments until they decided to attack the system that was holding them back in the fight for equality. Suffragette is not always the most pleasant watch with the women getting abused physically, mentally and even sexually. Suffragette teeters on the edge of Lifetime Movie territory at times with all the worst possible scenarios happening to Mulligan’s newcomer to the cause Maud.
Suffragette turns into mental torture porn at times, but the message still comes through. Women were getting screwed in the literal and figurative sense at the turn of the century by the men who held all the power. It just happens to be a slowly told message with the girls spending a portion of the film locked up. Suffragette fails to dive deeper into the turmoil and gives us nothing close to a nice bow on top at the end to make you feel some hope for our leading ladies.
Suffragette may be slowly told bummer of a film, but what holds it together are two performances. Carry Mulligan and Brendan Gleeson. Mulligan conveys a wide range of emotions including fear, confusion, anger and courage throughout the film. Her scenes with Gleeson are terrific as well with the underrated actor playing a man who’s doing his job even if deep down he believes in their cause. Gleeson could have played the Inspector as one-dimensional villain, but adds more to the role making you almost feel bad for him, because of the job he must perform. Mulligan and Gleeson turn in strong showings that make the hard to watch Suffragette worth at least one viewing just to gain perspective on the brutal way of life for many of these women that were striving for equality.
Overall, I give Suffragette 2.75 out of 4 stars.