Another day without real purpose. It's interesting I should say that because it sounds as if my day was pointless. I don't feel it was pointless. I just didn't have anything specific I must do. When you are in gainful employment, be it working for someone else or, if you are self employed the day revolves around doing. In my opinion the main thing about being a retiree is that I don't really have things I must do beyond those to maintain a reasonable lifestyle.
So today after some interesting chat on twitter about authors and criticism I decided to go to the cinema to see The Iron Lady. I thought long and hard before going to see the film because of my continued antipathy towards Margaret Thatcher. Antipathy which had started when she earned the name 'Margaret Thatcher Milk Snatcher' in 1970. I know that she must have had some redeeming qualities but in my considered opinion they were very difficult to see. Much was made of her being the first woman to gain top office but that wasn't about being female but playing the men at their own game. If the film is to be believed, it was about her being her father's daughter or, a clone of her father. She had little interest in her mother who appeared to be the head cook and bottle washer of that particular relationship.
The film itself is good insofar as it's well made. I wasn't sure about it using Thatcher's dementia as a way of telling the story. It somehow doesn't seem appropriate and detracts from a true depiction. It's shot in flashback and with Dennis Thatcher as a ghostly presence in her deluded state. Instead of the intransigence she was noted for we are presented with admirable determination and a woman who sacrificed all for her party and country. Only briefly are we shown the harder edge and though Streep's performance is a tour de force this is where the film falls down. This is a Hollywood version of the Thatcher years which if I'm honest on occasion made my blood boil. I had to resist the urge to walk out of the cinema.
I make no secret of being a life long socialist as I'm sure many who follow me on twitter will already be aware, but that doesn't mean I'm blinkered. However, I find it difficult to find anything admirable about Thatcher. This article by Germaine Greer is nearer my point of view. Meryl Streep may win an Oscar for her performance which is as I've said is good but the film ultimately fails to portray the true divisive nature of Thatcher's time in power.