This film chronicles the suffering and considerable sacrifices women made in the U.K. in the early 1900’s to win the right to vote. The plot unfolds primarily through the eyes of Maud (Carey Mulligan). Maud works in a laundry with atrocious working conditions including poor wages (much less for women than men), sexual assault, and inadequate safety precautions. One of her co-workers is active in the Suffragette movement and convinces her to come to a meeting.
Maud gets involved and soon gets arrested for protesting, which brings her into contact with a policeman – Officer Steed (Brendan Gleeson). He is opposed to the movement, but thinks Maud is being exploited by her Suffragette colleagues and appears to take a personal interest in her welfare. Unfortunately, these are the only two characters in the film who are fleshed out and have any depth. A cameo appearance by Meryl Streep as the movement leader (Emmeline Pankhurst) doesn’t add much.
The film was informative, but only a few scenes were emotionally compelling, so I failed to get inspired. I think Mulligan is one of the better young actresses and Gleeson was also terrific, but their performances were hampered by a mediocre script.
Robin thought what the movie lacked was better development about the supportive emotional bonds between the movement women rather than just their common cause, and I agree.
My vote (although male) – just a solid rental!