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Vera Drake

Essay by review  •  November 2, 2010  •  Book/Movie Report  •  757 Words (4 Pages)  •  508 Views

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Vera Drake

Vera Drake is a film nominated for several Oscars, and a completely successes for Mike Leigh, who is both director and writer.

The film is set in London in the early 1950s. Vera Drake lives with her husband Stan, and her two grown children Ethel and Sid, in a small middleclass flat. Vera is a domestic who cleans the houses of rich women, while Stan works at a mechanic shop run by his brother Frank.

Vera has a heart of gold, and is cheerful at anytime, even though she got plenty of work to do, and lots of people to take care of. She sings and smiles anyhow, and has a tremendous care and compassion for others. She also has time to help out women in need, as she calls it. This is her big secret that no one in her family knows of, and a secret that she intends to keep secret. When she says "help women in need" she means poor pregnant women who are not willing or able to give birth to a child. She works closely with Lily, a friend from her childhood, who sells households goods on the black marked and find women seeking abortions. She charges the women for money, while Vera does not take anything for helping them out. Vera's secret comes to a brutal end, after one of the girls she has treated gets deadly sick, and the police get involved. Abortions were not legal in the 1950s in England, and therefore Vera is committing a crime. By the time Vera and her family is gathered to celebrate the announced wedding between Reg and her daughter Ethel, the police comes knocking on their door. Vera is taken in to custody and is very afraid to tell her family the truth, but still does not think what she has been doing as anything wrong.

The theme of the film is obviously abortion, and those plenty questions concerning abortion. This has been a well debated theme for a long time, but Mike Leigh sees no obstacle in that. The question whether abortion should be legal or not, is still a big political issue, and it does not seem like politicians round the world has come to an agreement just yet. Even though this theme is highly debated beforehand, it does not make this a boring film. It is more opposite, and that is why I feel that Mike Leigh give us viewers a different angle than many others would have. He more or less tells the story of the one who perform the abortions, and sees the whole process through their eyes.

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