The Lady (2011) – France / UK
A feature of Luc Besson’s is that he is never shy of portraying woman as powerful, strong willed and independent. Here in The Lady, Besson goes half-baked and skimmed the film real central issue of freedom and opted for a love story. To say Michelle Yeoh’s performance as good is rather underrated as she oozes with fine screen presence and created a character that is not only able to relate to the audience, but also carries the film with strong willed temperament. The Lady ultimate is a film of unfulfilled potential, it wrongfully focuses on a love story, rather than how freedom is so crucial to the people of Burma.
Michelle Yeoh brings her character to life and possesses an uncanny resemblance to the actual Aung San Suu Kyi. In fact Yeoh has aged well and in the process able to depict a person that is calm, collected, inspired and extremely strong willed mindset. There is no moment of doubt in the audience mind that Yeoh will not go through with what she believes in so strongly, despite the hardship and harsh moments along the way. It is probably Ms Yeoh’s best rounded performance in years. Likewise, her husband played by (David Thewlis) is extremely effective as the supportive partner and father of the two children. Although there is nothing flashy about the role, the manner he approached the character is a perfect complement to Yeoh’s determination.
All in all, The Lady is a without doubt beautiful to look at as with most Luc Besson’s films. However the film loses its focus by spending too much time on the love story rather than the political situation in Burma instead. It is a shame as far too often, there are scenes of Thewlis cooking and washing, when those minutes could either be cut or provide a little more insight into the brutal Burma’s military regime. Still, The Lady remains a fine piece of cinema, even if it is a little flawed…
Neo rates it 7.5/10