Jack Hoyle comes back with his second pictorial blog. From cricket, he makes a move to politics and democracy in Myanmar. Here’s his work behind the lens as Myanmar completes a year of democracy.
Monks await the arrival of The Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi. A reported 100,000 people flocked to hear her give a speech. It was the first time she had visited Mandalay since her release from house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi was over six hours late, due to the huge numbers of people in the streets cheering along her motorcade. Monks huddle together to keep warm, while another spectator shields himself from the rain with a poster of The Lady.
A monk sewing.
Workers load a boat in Mandalay, shored on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
A boy holds up a captured bird. This particular bird is often sold as street food along the roadside.
Myanmar youths have found a new sense of confidence since the democratic reforms. Previously people, particularly the young, would have been persecuted for wearing such ‘daring’ attire, where as these days it’s a common sight.
For anyone expecting The Lady to be a epic recreation of the life of Aung San Suu Kyi would be disappointed by the film, though it must be said that it was an honest attempt.
The Lady is the story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband Dr. Michael Aris. It is also the story of her peaceful fight against the oppressive military regime of Burma. Despite such long distance and failure to meet each other often, the film portrays the love of the two protagonists living across continents for most parts after Kyi’s fight begins.
Plot:The film opens up with Michael’s (David Thewlis) discovery that he has cancer. From here it unravels how Suu (Michelle Yeoh) could not visit him in Britain because of the fear that she might never be allowed to return back in her quest of fighting to get back democracy to Burma. How she begins her fight after landing in a disturbed country and how her husband backs her in the entire fight, doing all that he can to make sure the lady wins her battles are the elements that complete the film.
After travelling from Britain to Burma to look after her ailing mother, Suu Kyi, the daughter of a prominent Burmese general, is asked by a group of activists to lead a pro-democracy movement. First she declines and reasons her responsibilities of being a mother and a wife to be not able to take up the position but then after considering and thinking over it, she accepts and from their begins her conflict against the regime.
Characters: Brilliant performances by both Thewlis and Yeoh make the film watchable except the fact that some more detailing on the fight against the oppressive regime would have made the film more moving. The brilliance of Yeoh cannot be hidden and she takes away everything on screen during her presence. The two kids play their parts well but it is the Burmese baddies who look pale in their respective roles. Considering the fame they reserved for being oppressive, the performances could have been much better.
Overall: For someone watching the film after watching The Iron Lady, this one is a dampener except the performances by Yeoh. The film could have gone inside the fight of the protagonist more and here I think it lost the plot. She is shown at the Piano more than fighting against the Militia and that leaves questions unanswered. Someone who does not know Aung San Suu Kyi and would start knowing her from this film will never be able to know about her intense fight against the regime because of the pale portrayal. The Lady tries to show both the sides (personal and professional) of the protagonists and for the lack of focus on either fails in both to certain extent.