Suffragette: my Friday night film review

In case anyone hasn’t seen the film already, big apology, but this blog is going to have just a couple of spoilers!


Tory’s movie rating: 3.5 out of 5

Somehow, I totally missed Suffragette when it was out in cinemas. I read a lot of tweets and statuses about how great it was at the time, and I’m so glad I’ve finally gotten around to watching it! I’m a History graduate, and early to mid-twentieth century history has always been my favourite time – I had to watch this film!

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, up until not too far from the end, when Carey Mulligan’s character, Maud, meets Emily Wilding Davison, who was killed in a collision with the King’s horse at the 1913 Derby. By the time Emily’s character was in the story, the fictional character of Maud had already met Lloyd-George, bombed his summer house, and been force-fed in prison. When Maud and Emily began their trip to the Derby, the cynic inside me had totally taken over. Are we really supposed to believe that Maud was at all of these major events in the fight for the vote?

Personally, I have always thought that Emily’s death didn’t quite deserve the pedestal history has given it; the suffragette movement was so clever to use it for their cause, but the film insinuated that it was because of Emily’s death that British women got the vote. It was the work of women during the Great War that resulted in parliament granting the Representation of the People Act in 1918, which opened up the vote to women over 30 (with some pedantic boundaries based on who they were married to).

Even so, this film really did portray the brutality of life for working class girls, and it is this harsh reality that is the key reason why we need a film like this in the world, and the reason why every country should have equal suffrage. The Week (UK) recently posted an article entitled “Eleven things women in Saudi Arabia cannot do” (link below). We need a film like Suffragette because in 2016, we should not be reading articles which highlight the following: Women in Saudi Arabia cannot:

  • Drive,
  • Go anywhere without a male chaperone,
  • Swim, or freely compete in sports,
  • Wear clothes or make up that “show off their beauty”,
  • Try on clothes whilst out shopping,
  • Or buy a Barbie doll.

In a world where beauty bloggers are some of the biggest celebrities on the planet (I’m looking at you, Zoella), we shouldn’t have to fight for women to be able to wear a smoky eye! Let’s not give up the fight for girls who, because of their nationality, are less fortunate than us.

Suffragette, 2015, directed by Sarah Gavron, starring Carey Mulligan

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