Sunday, November 8, 2015


I've been looking forward to this film, SUFFRAGETTE, since seeing the trailer weeks ago, and I can say after seeing it that it didn't disappoint, although the trailer made it look more action-paced than it is. In fact the pacing—rhythmically as steady as a heartbeat, but within each beat including the stillness between the beats and the buildup to each—is a big part of its appeal (to me). What I mean is, it feels like almost every scene begins slowly, sometimes achingly so, only to eventually progress to an often tension releasing climax just to begin that entire process again.

I don't want to generalize and say that it comes closer to a feminine or female sense of timing and pace than the usual male dominated film, but that's the way it seemed to me. This is a female dominated movie, directed exquisitely (for my taste) by Sarah Gavron and written (with the rhythms I've described) by Abi Morgan. It is both a beautiful film and a powerful experience, and yet also seems at times as predictable as the inevitable political outcome: i.e. women finally attaining the right to vote.

I suspect some viewers will find SUFFRAGETTE slow or inconsistent or even erratic or at times contrived, despite its basis in historical reality, but others, if they surrender to the artistry and skill of the filmmakers, including the cast (in which the female characters have the main roles, which unfortunately is almost never the case in movies today) they hopefully will have a unique movie-going experience, as I did.

At any rate, SUFFRAGETTE is worth seeing, and in fact should be required viewing, especially for those who take the gains made by any suffering segment of humanity for granted.

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