Review: ‘The Lady’ (M) ??? ½

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YOU could be forgiven for wondering how long it will take before Burma’s military hierarchy decides to reject the result of the country’s recent election and revert to the bad old days.

Rebecca Frayn’s screenplay for Luc Besson’s compelling and often frustrating (in the most necessary way), film biography of Aung San Suu Kyi, tells about the love between her and her late husband Michael against the background of Suu Kyi’s stubborn refusal to acquiesce in the demands of the dictatorship and her continuing struggle to bring real democracy to Burma.

With Thailand providing locations for the Burmese exteriors and extras for crowd scenes, the film looks handsome. The depiction of conflicts is real enough to tingle your spine and occasionally turn your stomach.

Michelle Yeoh superbly reflects Suu Kyi’s beauty, inner strength, courage and commitment. Beside her is a commanding performance from David Thewlis as Michael. On the other side of the coin, Besson has found a team of unattractive men to play unpleasant characters, mostly military with an added sprinkling of lurking watchers reporting to the bullies at the top.

Don’t be embarrassed to take adequate tissues to watch “The Lady”. Emotionally uplifting, it makes no concession to the power of its plot and the intensity of its humanity.

At Greater Union and Dendy

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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