Director Luc Besson proves for the umpteenth time that he’s not one to be restricted by genre with The Lady
. It’s a film that tells the real life story of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel-prize winning campaigner who fought for democracy in Burma. The film starts back in her childhood, before picking up with her happily married in England. By this time, she’s played by Michelle Yeoh, with David Thewlis stepping into the shoes of her husband.
Events conspire to take her back to Burma, though, and The Lady then concerns itself as much with the separation of husband and wife as it does the political situation. That makes it a bumpy film, and sometimes an unfocused one. Yet Besson’s intentions are so strong, and his meticulous detail so obvious, that the film’s issues are easy to forgive. Furthermore, Michelle Yeoh clearly devoted herself to the lead role, comfortably giving the best performance of her career. David Thewlis? He’s excellent, too, as always.
There’s clearly a better film to be made out of the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, but that doesn’t make The Lady a bad one. What’s more, thanks to Yeoh’s magnificent central turn, even in its weaker moments, there’s usually something of interest happening. The Lady has problems, certainly, but it has some genuine ambition, too. --Jon Foster
United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Making Of, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The Lady, directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), is the extraordinary story of Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) and her husband, Michael Aris (David Thewlis) . It is also the epic story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma's democratic movement. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile regime, their love endures until the very end. A story of devotion and human understanding set against a backdrop of political turmoil that continues today. The Lady was written over a period of three years by Rebecca Frayn. Interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi's entourage enabled her to reconstruct for the first time the true story of Burma's national heroine. ...The Lady (2011) (Blu-Ray)