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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher'
(Andrea Riseborough, Patricia Hodge, Lindsay Duncan, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / BBC Home Video)

Overview: Gain insight into the life of the controversial and inspiring woman who led the United Kingdom for more than ten years with 'The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher.' Featuring three outstanding productions - The Long Walk to Finchley, The Falkland’s Play and Margaret - on two discs, this fascinating collection follows the political career of the former Prime Minister.

DVD Verdict: Starring Lindsay Duncan with Ian McDiarmid, James Fox, Robert Hardy and Kevin McNally, 'The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher' is an astonishing story - for those that care. Over here in the States I cannot believe that this wondrous tale could ever really be appreciated as they, well, just don't appreciate who or what she was to the British, in truth.

That said, for those with interest, this incredible box-set show us Thatcher's astonishing downfall - something that became one of the most extraordinary stories of political assassination ever seen! This intimate portrayal shows the private figure behind the public persona as she loses the one thing she really cares about – power!

Told via three different generations of Margaret Thatcher (The Long Walk to Finchley, The Falkland’s Play and Margaret), and by three different, and equally compeling actors (Andrea Riseborough, Patricia Hodge, and Lindsay Duncan), 'The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher' follows the political career of the former Prime Minister step by step.

Andrea Riseborough ('Made in Dagenham') is the first of the Maggie's and is astonishingly graceful in her portayal. Her young Margaret (Roberts) in The Long Walk to Finchley is simply, well, breathtaking in its construction and shows us just how Margaret got the verve for politics that she finally was able to show us all. But, please know that what we see is imagined to what might have gone on behind the scenes during Maggie’s ten-year struggle to gain a seat in Parliament.

Patricia Hodge ('Miranda') as the deep-in-the-thick-of-things Maggie is great also. Her acting has always been of top notch quality though so I expected nothing else, in truth. Her role in The Falkland’s Play is incredible as the story unfolds about the backroom story of what was come to be known as 'Margaret Thatcher’s War.' Finally, Lindsay Duncan ('Rome') tackles the role of the Iron Lady in the final chapter, simply titled 'Margaret.' This last chapter examines the downfall of the Prime Minister after her election to a third term. One of the most formidable figures in British politics, the film ultimately reveals that the very aspects of her character that helped her secure power were also the ones that ensured her decline.

In closing, 'The Fall of Margaret Thatcher' is a gripping and chilling experience from start to finish - if you even care to know who this incredible woman was, of course. With some of the quotes and speeches taken from real-life events, you get a sense of what it would have been like for her, for her family and for the Cabinet. Again, if you're a lover of Margaret Thatcher, some of this will be sobering. But, if you're a hater, or someone on the fringe of knowing her back story, it will be enlightening, at the very least! Me, ... I found it to be very interesting and hard to stop watching. These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) and are enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

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