THE LADY

YeohVerticalAung San Suu Kyi BioPic wastes the story of the extraordinary woman behind Burma’s democracy movement, & wallows instead on her “personal sacrifices” (separation from her husband, time stolen from her children, etc). We’re sure all this is true (more or less) & most commendable, but without telling us what she has been trying to accomplish, it all seems rather pointless 🙁  Click HERE for our FF2 Haiku.

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The Lady should be the story of an extraordinary woman: Burmese Democracy Advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Instead it’s a rather pedestrian story about someone named “Suu” (pronounced “Sue” with a slight lisp by her loving husband).

Suu should be in London with family, but instead Suu choses to be in Myanmar, where she’s kept under house arrest by a military dictatorship. Very sad for Suu’s poor husband “Michael Aris” (played by David Thewlis); very sad for Suu’s poor sons “Kim Aris” (Jonathan Raggett) and “Alexander Aris” (Jonathan Woodhouse) who must grow-up without their mother. And oh how tragic when Michael is diagnosed with cancer and Suu can’t be home to nurse him…

I am not immune to human sentiment and I’m certain this was a devastating turn of events for the Aris family. But I am equally certain that we know the name Aung San Suu Kyi today because she is the leader of Myanmar’s  democracy movement, and that’s the story I wanted to see.

My bet is that the filmmakers, director Luc Besson and screenwriter Rebecca Frayn, wanted to tell me the story I wanted to see, but too many people on the money side were afraid that the true story of Aung San Suu Kyi’s remarkable life wouldn’t sell.

Michelle Yeoh certainly does her best with what little she’s allowed to do. As Aung San Suu Kyi, she is graceful, elegant and soft-spoken, but harder to crush than the most brilliant diamond. This should have been the role of a lifetime for her… but instead it’s a lost opportunity. What a shame!

But at the end of the day, something is better than nothing (or as my husband & partner Rich would say: “Never make the perfect the enemy of the good!”), so see The Lady and then start here to learn more about the inspiring life of Aung San Suu Kyi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Entering Years of House Arrest

Click HERE for an NPR interview which provides more of the background missing from the film itself.

Photo Credits: Magali Bragard © 2011 EuropaCorp

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