Luc Besson’s THE LADY Movie Review – Quite Majestic!
THE LADY is Luc Besson’s latest film about the fascinating story of Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) and her husband, Michael Aris (David Thewlis). Aung San Suu Kyi is the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy in Burma opposing the current regime. She is also the daughter of General Aung San, founder of the Communist Party of Burma, who was assassinated.
The Lady takes place between Aung San Suu Kyi’s 1988 return to Burma to take care of her dying mother to her release from house arrest in 2010. The film explores Suu Ki’s journey as she becomes a new hope for the Burmese people for democracy in Burma. But The Lady is also a love story between Suu Ki’s and her devoted husband, Michael Aris, whose devotion and love never wavered in all the years he was separated from her as his visa kept getting declined.
The Lady in many ways reminded me of The Last King of Scotland in the way it made me feel. It is such a fantastic story, it’s hard not to feel completely immersed in it. In addition, knowing that what you are watching is in fact based on a true story definitely makes the whole movie even more powerful.
But all this would be nothing without the incredible performance by Michelle Yeoh. Multiple times throughout the film I had to remind myself that she wasn’t actually Aung San Suu Kyi, that’s how good she is. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind why so many people would follow her, she is quite majestic in this role. There is something so strong and quiet in her performance, I think it’s probably one of the best performances by an actress this year. (Do I hear some nomination bells?!)
As for David Thewlis, well I was already a fan of his because of Harry Potter of course, and it’s no surprise that he once again gives a brilliant performance. Even more, I absolutely loved how his performance supported Michelle Yeoh’s performance, the same way his character, Michael Aris, supports his wife Suu Kyi through everything. It was a really wonderful pairing.
And of course director Luc Besson once again breathes life into this story and these characters and will help you get lost through them. You will find yourself forgetting that you are in fact watching a film and get so touched by these people. Needless to say tissues will be required.
I loved every moment of The Lady and would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in dramas based on real stories or anyone interested to find out more about Ang San Suu Kyi, you will love it. And if that’s not enough to convince you, I think getting to see Michelle Yeoh’s performance is reason enough.
And to end with some fact about the script, you might be interested to know that it was written by Rebecca Frayn over a period of three years during which interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi’s helped her reconstruct Suu Kyi’s true story.
The Lady will be released today, December 2nd, for a one-week qualifying run in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills (if you are located in LA, go see it). The film will then open officially in February 2012.