Made in Dagenham Review

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Set during the economic strife of the late 60s, Made in Dagenham tells the true story of female machinists working at Ford going on strike for being reclassified as “unskilled”. Led by the always brilliant Sally Hawkins (Happy-go-lucky), the women bring the Ford car plant to a stand still and gain the attention, not only of the American bosses, but also those in power. The women find they must remain united as the likes of Ford’s self-satisfied head of industrial relations and condescending head union representative attempt to bully and divide them.
The strength of this film is undeniably the excellent British cast with Hawkins giving a superb performance as she struggles with the burden of leadership and being a wife and mother, whilst fighting injustice from all sides. Bob Hoskins and Rosamund Pike shine as her adamant supporters with Miranda Richardson providing comic relief as Barbara Castle, the “fiery redhead” bossing around the Prime Minister and her two moronic aides. As well as this, the backdrop of the Essex council estate and colourful 60’s fashion draws the audience in and provides a believable core for the actors to work with. The film is ultimately feel-good despite the infuriating and patronising language the strikers are subjected to, which indicates how much attitudes have changed towards relationships between women and men and class consciousness over the years.
Although it has a slightly slow plot and it’s not as funny as Calendar Girls, director Nigel Cole’s last film, this Britflick is every bit as heart-warming and packs an emotional punch towards the end. Furthermore, it’s able to incite a sense of empowerment in any female viewer.

Set during the economic strife of the late 60s, Made in Dagenham tells the true story of female machinists working at Ford going on strike for being reclassified as “unskilled”. Led by the always brilliant Sally Hawkins (Happy-go-lucky), the women bring the Ford car plant to a stand still and gain the attention not only of the American bosses but also those in power. The women find they must remain united as the likes of Ford’s self-satisfied head of industrial relations and condescending head union representative attempt to bully and divide them.
The strength of this film is undeniably the excellent British cast with Hawkins giving a superb performance as she struggles with the burden of leadership and being a wife and mother whilst fighting injustice from all sides. Bob Hoskins and Rosamund Pike shine as her adamant supporters with Miranda Richardson providing comic relief as Barbara Castle the “fiery redhead” as she bosses around the Prime Minister and her two moronic aides. As well as this the backdrop of the Essex council estate and colourful 60’s fashion draws the audience in and provides a believable core for the actors to work with. The film is ultimately feel-good despite the infuriating and patronising language the strikers are subjected to which indicates how much attitudes have changed towards relationships between women and men and class consciousness over the years.
Whilst amusing at times, the humour is very much directed towards women with jokes that men might not appreciate. Indeed it seems this is a film for the ladies rather than the men with a slightly slow plot that packs an emotional punch towards the end.
While not as funny as director Nigel Cole’s last film Calendar Girls, this Britflick is every bit as heart-warming and furthermore incites a sense of empowerment in any female viewer.

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