An ordinary working class machinist from the Ford factory in Dagenham becomes the spokesperson for a woman’s right to equal pay in Britain in the 1960’s.
Based on the true story of the advancement of women’s rights in the swinging sixties, this story is set while the working classes were still regarded as the hardworking, salt-of-the-Earth backbone of Britain rather than the workshy, scrounging scumbags they seem to be regarded as in today’s political climate. This in itself makes Made In Dagenham feel like a refreshing change and clearly the story it tells is an important one. Unfortunately the tone set by director Nigel “Calendar Girls” Cole is rather too manipulative and contrived, making the film often veer between sitcom and soap opera rather than true drama. Sally Hawkins is as appealing as ever and Miranda Richardson’s portrayal of firebrand government minister Barbara Castle energises the screen whenever she appears, and also provides a nice opportunity to show the “everyday sexism” endured by women from all walks of life.
The film is an interesting story with an important message but it’s all a bit too fluffy and cosy and “feelgood” to have the kind of impact the material truly deserves.