Rooted in the experience of an initially reluctant up-riser and later patriot of the British womens’ voting rights movement, Suffragette has deep wells of compassion and the ability to incite dialogue for the state of womens’ global rights. Sacrificing dramatic momentum and character context early on, a murky delivery sometimes undercuts the passion that drives the movie.
As played by Carey Mulligan, laundress Maud is first hesitant to participate and associate with the suffragette movement, but ultimately risks what little she has for the sake of the vote. Rendering the early lurches and halts of her character’s buy-in more believable for her understated delivery, the film doesn’t always serve her performance as it should. Presenting Maud so anonymously has clear narrative intent behind it – the film solidly upholds the value of any one person’s contribution to a societal effort – but that anonymity sometimes comes off as indifference. Director Sarah Gavron infuses the film with so much palpable passion that it’s a shame some of the creative risks don’t pay off.