Critical Response: Made in Dagenham Made in Dagenham is a British film about girls’ empowerment in the form of Ford sewing girls machinists at the Ford Dagenham plant in the year 1968. Back in the days, the female is considered unskilled and inferior compared to male. The female workers were paid less and had terrible working conditions. Therefore, the female workers lead by one of the workers, Rita O’Grady went on strike demanding for equality with the male workers in term of payment. In the end, the strike went successful.
This essay is going to discuss further about the characters, theme, setting and the social issues of the movie. The movie itself has many supporting characters, however, the main character of the movie is Rita O’Grady. Rita was pictured as a small Brunette hair lady who didn’t talk much. Although, after she is fed up with the inequality existed among the women workers, Rita started to show the real inner woman hero inside her. Rita is really a fearless and courageous woman, yet intelligent when it comes to convincing people to support for her and fellow women workers.
For instance, in one scene of the movie, when Rita and the women workers were attending the Trade Union conference, Rita attempted to collect votes from the men in the conference and her attempt was succeed! She collected the majority votes for her and the other women workers, because of her thoughtful speech. Moreover, Rita O’Grady, just like any other ordinary women is also a fragile, delicate and caring woman. A part of movie show how unhappy Rita was when she and Eddie, her husband had a terrible fight about their recent relationship. But, Rita didn’t stop and gave up easily, as her friends will always support her no matter what.
As for the setting of the movie, it takes a lot of scenes around Rita’s neighborhood and the factory in Dagenham. Also, there is a scene from the movie, which takes place in Eastbourne, the place where trade union conference was held. Personally, I think the movie has been successful in showing the 1960’s vibe, especially from the setting of the building in Eastbourne (grey Victorian building) Furthermore, the main key event of the movie is, when Rita made a speech in the trade union conference. This scene undoubtedly shows the audience about what the women clearly wants, “equal payment to the women is right”, just what Rita stated.
On top of that, the part where Rita and Eddie made up with each other proved how support from closest person is really important. Through the use of music, the director of the film has been able to influence the audiences’ opinion and mood about what is happening in the movie, whether it’s a sad or joyful scene. Yet, most of the song comes from the piano melody. For example, when Rita cried in the room while staring at the window after having a fight with Bonnie, a sad melody song was played. Another example is, a slightly cheerful music was played on the background when Rita and Eddie kissed and made up after the fight.
The beach as the background, the blowing wind gusting both character’s face display clearly the joyful scene of the movie. As I see it, the main themes that emerge are, first, women’s empowerment. This is can be seen from the part when Sandra yelled at Monty during the conference by shouting him “hypocrite” and the women started to gain the recognition they deserved after one man from the union asked them to give speech. Second, Rita teaches us to be more persevere and have full determination in what we’re doing. If we believe on something, stick to it until the goal has been strived.
Based on Rita case, she doesn’t give up easily on the women’s right to get equal payment and finally, she had the majority votes for her. To conclude, I personally think the movie is different. A movie about female workers who fight for their rights is a fresh idea. However, for me personally, or maybe other students, the movie goes too long as there are so many unneeded conversations. This is the problem that makes the movie kind of monotonous. Overall, the movie has shown how the director has succeeded in influencing the audience’s mood by using the suitable soundtrack, setting and dialogue.