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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 March 2012
A very powerful film that resists the temptation to drift into sentimentality. The story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her unlikely rise to leader of the democratic movement in Burma is told in a series of flashbacks, starting with her life as the wife of an academic in Oxford. The visual contrast between the grey and white stillness of the English world and the red and green drama of Burma is striking - and captivating. And the violence that results in Suu deciding to stay in Burma is sensitively if shockingly portrayed - the drama is in the sudden and unnecessary nature of the violence, not in excessive blood and gore. I thought the dialogue and the acting were great. If anything, the fact that some have found it less than engaging might be down to the fact that it's so realistic - not full of the neat soundbites of so many Hollywood movies. I felt a bit stunned at the end of the film. Of course, there's no neat or happy ending. And the real footage of Burmese monks protesting in 2007 that's cut in with the 'actor' monks is particularly moving. A real powerhouse film. Loved it.
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on 23 April 2012
This is a delightful film, it's not perfect and of course is as much the story of the relationship between The Lady and her husband as a comment on the politics of Burma. But it casts some light and might be viewed alongside reading an excellent new biography "The lady and the peacock" or, for those just wanting to know something about what it is like to visit this awesome country, my own book "Beguiling Burma" (see Amazon's book section)which presents a more light-hearted picture.
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on 23 July 2012
The story of Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the great struggles of out time and Michelle Yeoh takes the part quite brilliantly. The settings in Thailand are very well done and the murderous generals portrayed with great skill. I felt however that the role of her UK family were out of proportion to the business in Burma and rather over done. They were not easy roles to play and were as well acted as the script allowed, there was just too much of it and all a bit too emotional. I would have liked more on the political behind the scenes activities to put pressure on the generals which was rather skated over. The lack of optional subtitles for the hearing impaired is also to be regretted.
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on 16 June 2012
This is an amazing film, and having worked in Burma and on the borders was of great interest to me. It is challenging and sad, but reflects something of the strength of this incredible woman. I was hoping it would hit the cinemas more than it did, It beats the Iron lady (Mararet Thatchers story...which came out simultaneously)for me any day.This is about a true hero whos life and everything she cared about was put aside for the sake of truth, democracy and justice.... I would one day want to meet this legendary lady. Made me want to go back again.Fantastic!
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on 7 April 2014
excellent film of Aung San Suu Kyi's fight for Burma's opening up and democratisation while kept apart from her dying husband. Closes the story short of her entry into the new parliament and subsequent activity but very fine performances from everyone in the cast. Well worth the time to watch and the money spent.
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on 1 July 2013
This is a great film. I missed it at the cinema when it was on general release and so was glad to be able to be able to buy the DVD. This is a true story and tells something of the suffering of the people of Burma under the harsh military junta who control the country. Aung San Suu Kyi is an extremely brave lady and this film depicts something of her life. If you believe in democracy and want to see Burma a free country this film will interest you and may persuade you to become actively involved in supporting the reasonable demands of the Burmese people to be free from oppression.
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on 5 May 2012
great film about a great woman. brilliant acting and most convincing portrayal of 'the Lady'. lets hope the future is now bright for Burma.
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on 26 January 2015
My lasting memory of this film is not just the Lady, but more the Lady's family. As a work of art it is worth five stars. Very well created and with many subtleties and touches and of course some wonderful acting. The terrible effects of military dictatorship are well presented with just the right amount of violent imagery to convey the seriousness. Equally as strong are the stresses and losses the family are forced to accept in the cause of principle and justice.
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on 8 March 2014
" A nation is not defeated until the hearts of it's WOMEN are on the ground". So said Chief Sitting Bull c1888 USA. He knew a thing or two. Pity the world does not have more people like these in charge.
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In this excellent Anglo-French production, director Luc Besson has chosen to tell the story of Aung San Suu Kyi through the experience of her marriage to Oxford academic Michael Aris (an intelligent and sensitive performance by David Thewlis). The film explores the heartache of a family life characterised by long separations due to Suu's choice to commit her life first and foremost to democracy and civil rights in her native Burma, and the resultant choices and sacrifices which both agree to endure for the cause.

What might in the hands of a less skilled director have turned into a political polemic, or worse, a worthy but uninvolving biopic, has become under Besson's skilled direction a truly great film with a strong storyline and real emotional power. The action see-saws between Suu's struggles against the regime in Burma and Michael's safe, suburban academic life in Oxford, highlighting his unquestioning support for her decision even though it means she is absent from her children growing through adolescence, and of course from him. Whilst stopping short of doing Suu actual harm because her high public profile would bring down the outrage of the international community, the military regime does everything possible to make her leave Burma `voluntarily' - but she refuses to go, knowing that if she were to leave, new laws would be framed by the regime to ensure she would never be allowed back and she could be far less effective outside the country.

The audience is not spared graphic images of the horrors perpetrated by the Burmese regime. The violence however is in no way gratuitous, but essential to the action and to the story. The less well-known struggles of Michael in the background - bringing up the teenage boys on his own, lobbying for his wife to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to attract international news coverage & so add a layer of protection for her, missing her but uncomplaining - are well portrayed by Thewlis, whose performance is noble, intelligent and understated, and capped off by his brief cameos as Michael's identical-twin brother.

Michelle Yeoh remains the shining star of the film. Her portrayal of Aung San Suu Kyi runs the full gamut of the emotional spectrum while remaining noble and dignified in the face of ever-mounting indignities. She also learned Burmese (!) for the role, delivering Suu's public speeches in front of large crowds in the Burmese language with utter conviction. You will believe absolutely that Yeoh is Aung San Suu Kyi, clearly understanding the difficult choices she made and their consequences.

The film would be worth five stars just for Yeoh's stellar performance, but in fact `The Lady' is a finely crafted and emotionally involving film with no weak performances. Recommended.
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