Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why did they make this film?

You don't know how to manufacture 
Sturdy bones with a hairline fracture 
The crazy will of a Margaret Thatcher that 
They've all got 
And though you pay for the hands they're shaking 
The speeches and the mistakes they're making 
As they struggle with the undertaking of 
Simple thought 

Margaret Thatcher on TV
Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing
It seems strange that she should be offended
The same orders are given by her

I have no strong feelings about Margaret Thatcher, but the reason song lyrics are written about her & biopics are created is because of her effect on England and somewhat-larger-than-life-persona.  However this film covers mostly her dementia - why?  The film could have devoted a few minutes to her later illness, but to spend large portions of her talking to her dead husband offers no insight into why she's a compelling historical character.  Her senility is little different from many others, but her life was far far different from most, and this film completely misses what is/was important.

This film brought to mind Reagan's official biography - even listening to the abridged version, i found the repeated sections on Reagan's Alzheimer's disease intrusive, a wrongness.  Coincidentally one of the examples of Reagan's illness involved Thatcher, but the only example that Morris should have provided was his visit to Reagan's office to mention how Reagan's presidency was being viewed - at that point Morris hoped, but wasn't sure, that Reagan understood what he (Morris) was saying:  there was a poignancy to that scene that the others lacked.  Not sure why Morris felt obliged to beat the point in the ground that Reagan had Alzheimer's, a fact well known, but that flaw was one more negative for a book with too many defects already.

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