The Iron Lady is a movie about the life of the former president of the UK, Margaret Thatcher. It mostly showcases the UK society during the 1970s, and also includes parts of Thatcher’s life, both prior to and after her time in office. We get to know more about how she manged to climb among the ranks of politicians, even though she was the only female in the political scene at that time.
The movie is built up in a way where the main story is just about Margaret Thatcher packing up clothes and stuff from her dead husbands closet, trying to get over him. But that wouldn’t make that great of a story, would it? So, the film includes about 90% flashbacks from the most impactful parts of Thatcher’s life. This is mainly her time in office, but also personal times as a teen, or with her husband.
There’s a lot to take away from the movie, mostly how different the views on female politicians was before Margaret Thatcher was the president and after. From seeing the first few minutes of the movie, it became clear to me that most of the movie was going to be focused on what Thatcher had to go through just to be taken seriously as a politician. She didn’t come from a rich family, nor did she know anyone from the political scene as a young lady. She definitely had the odds stacked against her, which might be the reason why she became such a conservative politician. If she could make it, anyone could, was her mind-set.
There were different elements of the movie, which made it as powerful as it was. Margaret Thatcher was shown as an outsider as a kid. She just simply didn’t have the same interests as the rest of the girls in her class. She had a passion for something way bigger than shoes, boys and clothes. Margaret’s main goal as a teen, was to make it into oxford and make her parents proud. She always had one thought in mind throughout the movie, which was to make a change in the world. The movie had both scenes from when Thatcher was old and when she was young, yet she kept the same attitude, and passion for changing the world.
Most of the movie was based on the years 1975-1990, where Thatcher was the leader of the conservative party. In the start of this period, the UK’s economy had been on a downwards spiral for many years and the people wanted a change. Thatcher’s policies were quite controversial, she caused absolute chaos when she got to the precedency. The way the film portrayed it, it felt like she had to take one step backwards to take two forwards, trying to lead the country in a relatively capitalistic way. As you could imagine, the people of the UK were outrageous when she lowered taxes for the rich and focused on building up a bigger army. She had to build up a solid stepping stone for the British economy. To do so, the country needed to go through even rougher times for a few years, before the economy would turn. This was one of the reasons she got the nickname, “the iron lady” later on, when people realized what her plan was, and that she managed to stand up for her opinions.
One of the highlights of the movie was when Margaret Thatcher decided to fight for the Falkland Islands. For most, these islands seemed lost and unreasonable to fight for. Yet Thatcher believed that it was very important for Britain to show no fear, be strong, and fight for their lands. Quite a risky move, considering how much outrage there would be if they somehow lost the “war” or if they had a major number of casualties. As Thatcher predicted, it went flawless, which created a great wave of nationalism in the country. People become more proud to be British for once. It was also a major key factor in Thatcher gaining respect from the people.
As the movie started to come to an end, we got to see how Margaret Thatcher lost the position as party leader, for the conservative party. We also got to see how she struggled to get over her dead husband. Throughout the entire movie, her relationship with her husband was quite sad, she always chose to prioritize politics, and when she got old, and he died away, she thought of him as if he was just there with her. In the last few minutes, we get to see her husband leave her house, as an imaginable character, she still tries to convince him not to leave, but then he turns around and says; “you’ll be fine on your own, you always have been”. This kind of sums up the life of Margaret Thatcher very well. The person she was supposed to care the most about, felt left out and ignored throughout his life. Thatcher had such a strong passion for politics, that she never managed to look around her, and see what was really going on with those who loved her. This was the type of person she had to be, if she wanted to be the first female president of the UK, especially in this era.
“If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.”
The quote above, fits really nicely into what the film, “The Iron Lady” is even about. It shows how sensitive and over the top the British people and politicians are. To lead Britain, you had to be able to stand up for the views you believe are right, and not fall for sheer pressure. I believe the statement of this quote is quite true, but not only for Britain. You must have touch of iron about you to lead almost any country. Because in most countries the front figure of your party is actually even more important than what the parties believes in.
When Margaret Thatcher decided to fight for the Falkland Islands, we truly get to see how right this quote is. If Thatcher didn’t do what she herself though was the right thing to do, no change would have been made for the UK. The people would have been even more stuck in the angry and depressed state of mind that they were at, at that time. Thatcher led the country well, and managed to get changes done, that many other leaders would never even think trying to change. She was truly a great leader for Britain, and for women all around the world. Margaret Thatcher will be remembered with big names such as Churchill or other great leaders of Britain throughout history.