Analysis of the Iron Lady
INTRODUCTION Film is a story which shown in moving picture, shown at the cinema or on television. There are several kinds of genres in film. For example, thrilling, drama, science fiction, action, comedy, and animation. The type of genre that this group would like to analyze is documentary film. Documentary is a type of film that gives facts about a real situation or real people. The film entitled “The Iron Lady” is a 2011 British biographical film based on the life of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century.
The film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Thatcher is portrayed primarily by Meryl Streep. While the film was met with mixed reviews, Streep’s performance was widely acclaimed, and considered to be one of the finest of her career. She received her 17th Academy Award nomination, and ultimately, the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her portrayal of Thatcher across four decades. She also earned her third Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama (eighth overall), and her second BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. This film is chosen to study about Margaret Thatcher’s life.
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Her struggles as a young lower-middle class woman to have a seat in the House of Commons, where in that era male is the most dominant in politic, and in the old age she has a dementia disease. The title of “Iron Lady” is a nickname that has frequently been used to describe female heads of government around the world. The term describes a “strong willed” woman. The iron metaphor was most famously applied to Margaret Thatcher. II. ANALYSIS Setting is the time and location in which a story takes place. This film takes place in U. K. In her young age at 24 years old. Starting from 1947 until the present.
Firstly, most of this film takes the setting in Thatcher’s house, in her room where she spent her life-aged there. The condition of this house is, nice, quiet, and peaceful. This house is full of reminiscences about her husband and she is always being haunted by him. Another specific place is in the House of Parliaments where she works as a Prime Minister. The main character of this film is Margaret Thatcher as the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century. She is smart and ambitious woman. Her father whom she admired, Alfred Roberts was an active local politician in Grantham.
Her early life was spent in Grantham, where her father owned two grocery shops. Her young age was spent to study due to her father influence and said to her to “don’t go on the crowd, go your own way. ” Denis Thatcher, MT’s husband was a businessman. He was warm, kind-hearted, and supported his wife. However, Denis showed a bit dislike towards his wife’s ambition and over hectic life in politic. Her daughter, Carol is patient daughter who accompanies her mother and trying hard to support her mother through her difficulties cannot clearly distinguish between the present and the past.
Airey Neave was a Thatcher’s spokesman, also known as her friendship. He supported Thatcher to change her image, both in the way her appearance and her intonation in speech. Those two were being done in order to be elected as a prime minister. Tragically, after accompanying Thatcher giving a speech campaign. Airey was murdered by the Irish National Liberation Army. Geoffrey Howe is a Deputy of Prime Minister and later he resigns after being humiliated by Thatcher in a Cabinet meeting. He is humiliated due to Thatcher’s comment about his error writing.
After his resignation, Howe provides a detailed of his uneasy partnership with Thatcher. It describes about conflict of royalty between two of them. Plot is the sequence of events in a story or play. This film begins when Thatcher buys milk and unrecognized by the customers in the shop. She often sees having communication with her husband, Denis Thatcher that actually already dead. Because of Thatcher’s dementia, she has difficulties distinguishing between the past and the present. She feels that her husband still alive and she is still a prime minister.
This film also shows a flashback about Thatcher’s youth, when she put the utmost effort getting in Oxford University. She didn’t spend most of her times to play like any other teenage girls. In fact, she studies and takes cares grocery shop of family business. She also flashback and recall everything about her struggle as a middle class woman to have a seat in the House of Commons defeating those snobbish males-dominated. In the beginning of her career, she is being underestimated due to her existence as a grocery shop daughter and the whole political opponents were seeing Thatcher is a female figure who cannot lead Britain.
Flashback historical events, first Thatcher is being candidate for Dartford, education minister, elected in Conservative Leader, and during her time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom including the rising unemployment, the bombing of the Grand Hotel during the 1984 Conservative Party Conference, when she and Denis were almost killed, and her decision to retake the Falkland Islands. In the end, she resigns as a prime minister because of Michael Heseltine challenges her for the party leadership and her loss of support from her Cabinet colleagues.
Eventually, Thatcher is shown packing up all of her husband luggage and letting him go, even though she isn’t yet ready to left by her husband. Until she sees Denis’s ghost leaves her fully dressed but without his shoes and Thatcher is being alone washing up a tea cup. Plot is supported by conflict. It is essential to plot. Without conflict there is no plot. There are several conflicts in this film. Such as internal conflict, a struggle within one’s self; person must take some decisions, quit their temper, resist an urge, etc.
Thatcher’s decision to accept Denis’ proposal marriage with requirements she will never be one of those woman who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband, and any other household circumstances. Because she has an opinion that one’s life must matter than cooking, cleaning, and washing up a tea cup. In fact, in the end of this film Thatcher old figure shows her essence as a woman, she washing up a tea cup alone. Another internal conflict within herself, she is being haunted by her husband and cannot distinguish between the past and the present.
Denis figure is described as a person who always comments about wife’s success, failures, and annoys her. Actually, he comforts his wife and realizes her in order to not being ambitious person. As Thatcher states while watching video of their holiday, ‘the children have grown so fast’ without even Thatcher realize. Denis replies her by saying, ‘you can rewind it, but you cannot change it. ’ It means that Thatcher cannot travel back to the past. As a mother, Thatcher should have paid more attention to the children rather than fulfilling her ambition. There is also external conflict.
External conflict is a struggle with a force outside one’s self. For example, Thatcher has poor relationship with her mother. Probably, her father influence is greater than her mother. Unlike Thatcher, her mother is only an ordinary woman who doing house chores and keeping grocery shops. Her mother seems intends to teach Thatcher as any other women like cooking, cleaning, and washing up in the kitchen. Point of view is defined as the angle or perspective from which the story is told. Point of view this film uses first person point of view. The main character interact using first person pronoun “I”.
The viewer sees the story through Thatcher’s experience. Style or binary opposition in this film is Thatcher among males dominated in her political career. She put the utmost effort to break into snooty males. Lady Thatcher’s youth being admired by people and her glory in politic, in contrast with her fragile aging that almost being forgotten by citizen. In addition, literally woman is viewed as a weak and tend to be a follower creature that should take care home and children. However, Thatcher broke those opinions and showing a powerful side of a woman.
And the last is Thatcher’s mother. A mother should have courage and supported her child, she neglected her instead. Soundtrack is a sounds of music that accompanying during certain or crucial events of a film. It can tell in many aspects, either suspense or happy. Most of soundtracks of this film use instrumental music. There are some instruments that represent the events of this film. This group points out three instrumental musics. For example, the instrument titled Swing / Parliament by Thomas Newman. A soft violin sounds in the beginning but eventually become more strong and tense.
The music played in the scene when Thatcher won her first election as MP for Finchley. This also shown she left her children that whined to not go. However, she went and left the children for the sake of her importance as a Prime Minister. Besides that, played music titled A Place at Oxford by Thomas Newman, this music is applied when Thatcher receives a letter that she got a place in Oxford. She shows that letter to her parents. Her dad is very proud of her but her mother ignores her by saying ‘my hands are still damp’. It is a hint that Thatcher has a poor relationship with her mother. And the last, an nstrument entitled Prelude No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846 (J. S. Bach), this piano chord sounds calm and soft. It is shown in the end of this film after Lady Thatcher finish washing a tea cup. Camera shot is to record a film or take a photograph. This film uses specific camera shot when it was taken. These following are shots of The Iron Lady: picture 1. 1picture 1. 2 This shot is called high angle shot. It was taken from the above. The first picture intends to show a clear contrast where Lady Thatcher is the only and the first woman who has a seat as a Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959.
The second picture is a historic day for Great Britain. A leader of Conservative Party, Thatcher won the election of Prime Minister in 1979. picture 2. 1picture 2. 2 The pictures above are called over the shoulder shot. It is a camera angle from the shoulder of another person. The shot of the first picture is taken when Thatcher giving a prayer from St. Francis of Assisi, for her victory as a Prime Minister. The other picture is Thatcher was guided by her spokesman for the campaign of Prime Minister’s election. picture 3. 1picture 3. 2 This shot is called Close-up.
It is a photograph of someone or something that is taken by standing very close to them. These two are Thatcher’s portrait. The left side is Thatcher youth, she smiles widely when got a place in Member of Parliament and the right side is Thatcher serious face was making strategy with her cabinet to retake the Falkland Island. Picture 4. 1 Admiralty Arch is a landmark building in London. It provides a road access for pedestrian. This building was taken in a low position or called low angle shot. This position intended to show a powerful and dominant of someone or something.
In this case, the greatness is in this building as one of the symbol in London. Thatcher was passing this road when she elected as a Prime Minister. Lightning in this film uses natural lightning both in the inside and in the outside, in daylight and evening. However, most of this film is in the outside which bright and still natural by using the earlier lightning technology which colored black and white. Theme is moral message or value that the author underlying meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey. The theme may be the author’s thought about a topic or view of human nature.
The Iron Lady carries important values about woman movement who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in male dominated world. Lady Thatcher thinks that women can go forward, struggle, have equal position with males in leading, represents people’s aspiration, and make a changing of a country to be better. Woman has important roles, knowledge, power, effort, and equal desires like males in leading a country. Not only feminism issues that have been explained but also we should wary of people around us.
Ironically in the end of career, Thatcher’s colleagues start to leave her that make her no choice except resign from her position instead of being ashamed by colleagues in cabinet. This thing as a proof that we must be wary of the people around us, even if they are friends or even our colleagues, because they are the closest people who know about us and they have great potential to impose ourselves. The optimistic side of Thatcher, actually it is a good trait, but if that optimistic become concentrated in an obsession, it will give rise to a risk that must be responsible for.
Because of obsession that we have, there will be sacrifice to fulfill it, such as either closest people or even our family. The most important thing, there will be good things and bad things for every decision that someone’s take that must be accounted properly, especially concerning the lives of many people. Related to Thatcher’s old figures, she reminisces about her past because she doesn’t want to stays silent and do nothing like ordinary women. Now in the present time of her age, she cannot represent citizen’s aspiration. Thatcher was fully appreciated for every single citizen’s opinion and motivation to develop a better condition.
Unfortunately, now she cannot go anywhere, only stays in her house, doesn’t ran her political career anymore, and doesn’t have friends to talk with except her daughter that routinely visits her. III. CONCLUSION “The Iron Lady” is a 2011 British biographical film based on the life of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century. This film contains historical events of Great Britain. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is surprising and intimate portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman.
The Iron Lady means a strong woman an attached for women who smashed a new revolution. In conclusion, this film describes struggle of a powerful woman dealing with any pressure. Thatcher is sturdy and can be able to trigger on behalf of women’s right and showing equality right in leading. However, as a woman this film also convey a message that women must have attitude and back to the role of the woman’s nature or character who loving, caring, gentle, and responsible for looking after family and children.
Woman should realize that happiness cannot be replaced by having a great political seat but rather having family and people around us happy because of our existence. REFERENCE * DVD The Iron Lady * http://www. margaretthatcher. org * http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Iron_Lady * http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Admiralty_Arch * Geoffrey Howe, Author St. Martin’s Press http://www. publishersweekly. com/ * Soekarno, Ruisah, Theory of Prose (a sheet for students). * Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition.