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By Jess Fenton
19th April 2012

‘The Lady’ is an unremarkable film about one of the most remarkable people of our lifetime. As a mother, wife, politician, prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner, this story of Aung San Suu Kyi has it all - unfortunately, the film doesn’t. Directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson whose previous works include ‘Leon’ and ‘The Fifth Element’, Besson has served up a genre change, clearly an experiment that didn’t pan out. ‘The Lady’ plays as though it were written straight from a wikipedia page - nothing but hard milestones and loose facts completely void of heart, soul, compassion or human nature.


The film focuses too much on the wife and mother angle, as she's separated from her family, and not enough on the green yet passionate political leader thrust into a role based on nepotism and hope - the story we really want to see. This is a story that should be and deserves to be told, just not in the hands of Luc Besson. While an extremely talented filmmaker, he was clearly out of his depth as a storyteller and director.

At a far too long 132 minutes, the film’s only saving grace in Michelle Yeoh’s uncanny resemblance and performance to her real life counterpart. However, Yeoh can only keep you engaged for so long before you begin to realise there’s nothing substantial playing before you on the screen.

The film treats Suu Kyi as a saint and not simply an extraordinary woman she deserves to be depicted as. A person with faults, a family, facing isolation and the toughest decisions the world can throw at her.

‘The Lady’ is an unremarkable film about one of the most remarkable people of our lifetime.

Given the real life events over the last 12 months, ‘The Lady’ is plagued with bad timing, which sadly also reveals the filmmaker's faith, or lack thereof, in their subject and story.

‘The Lady’ is underwhelming and too long, with a severe lack of character development. If you’re looking for the real Aung San Suu Kyi story, pick up a newspaper or wait for the inevitable book by the lady herself.

RELEASE DATE: 19/04/2012
RUN TIME: 02h 12m
CAST: Michelle Yeoh
David Thewlis
Jonathan Raggett
Jonathan Woodhouse
Benedict Wong
Susan Wooldridge
Flint Bangkok
Guy Barwell
Sahajak Boonthanakit
Antony Hickling
DIRECTOR: Luc Besson
PRODUCERS: Andy Harries
Virginie Besson-Silla
Jean Todt
Luc Besson
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