I was rather disappointed in this film. It felt like a clunky, poorly-written stage show, with buffoonish parodies of the villains. It was a very wordy film, probably because much of the speechifying was taken from the orations at the time and, as one of the characters says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. Many of the working-class characters felt like parodies- as if they were in a Monty Python movie.
However, it wasn’t all bad. The approach towards the protesters was more nuanced, picking up on the differences of political strategy and levels of education, and the tension leading up to the Peterloo massacre was well held. It was odd that there was no explanation of the fall-out from the massacre – perhaps because only 18 died? – and the consequences were political in terms of more repression, which doesn’t fit well into a “what happened next” paragraph?
I think I just expected more from a director of Mike Leigh’s stature.
My rating: 3/5
When I was writing up the events of the Peterloo in time for the The Peterloo Bicentenary in Manchester in Aug 2019, I didn’t realise Peterloo was a film. So I will publish my blog post earlier than intended, and create a link to your post.
I’ve heard from a few who have seen this film, and they’ve all been mixed like you.
I suggest you see Rocketman!
I’m glad now that last week at Luna (Perth’s Nova) I chose Top End Wedding instead of Peterloo, by which I was tempted. (WG! Rocketman! How could you?)
I imagine that they would be two VERY different movies!!
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