I watched this movie twice while on the airplane.
Portraying the ongoing fight of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and democratic icon lady Aung San Suu Kyi, the contemporary characteristic of the matter itself is enough to make it a precious work. On its own, the film is beautiful and romantic - as romantic as burning personal love, patriotic love, and human love can be in time of political turmoil.
As it is always difficult to portray intellectual struggle of a leader the mass, the movie sensibly chooses to portray more the private spirit than the public one. While viewers who seeks clear details on Burma’s recent decades and viewers with extensive knowledge on the matter may find this portrayal lacking and oversimplified, the relatively low number of campaign scenes helps the movie avoid appearing propagandous or pretentious. It also keeps the attention on the heroine (and her husband) very fluid, successfully building evocative and compelling emotions. Toward the end, the alignment with the lady’s internal spirit is complete and I feel fulfilled.
Michelle Yeoh’s acting is exceptional and leaves a memorable image of the lady. The authenticity in the depiction of Burmese language and culture is great. I also like how the movie focuses on highlighting gestures and actions to build personalities without having to explain with words. One more thing is the very good pace. Violent scenes are short but powerful. Hopeful and depressing sparks weave between each other. Civil struggle is painful, complex, and leaves lasting scars. It is always realistic to show that this is never just good vs. evil - something I have more often been satisfied with by books than movies.
(And of course I’m tagging Thailand for their tremendous effort in the matter and in making this film for their neighbor).