Vera Drake is one of the most powerful films I have seen in a very long time. Physically drained would be the best description of how I felt when the film ended.
The cast is superb. The camera work made me feel as if I was watching a play more than a movie. The sets are apartments in London of both the wealthy and the working poor. Before I even knew the exact time the movie was set, I figured it out from the colors, clothes and details of each set. This is a perfect film.
The story is of Vera Drake, who is an absolutely good hearted soul who is and has been performing illegal abortions for the past 20 years. She does it to help young girls in trouble. She doesn’t take money. She does it because she cares. Imelda Staunton plays Vera. She is incredible. Vera has been performing these services without the knowledge of her family. Imelda plays her character to perfect detail. Her body language changes as the movie progresses and she is discovered.
I could go on and on about the film. Each cast member was fantastic. The screenplay was full of emotion even down to the last clip of the film. It is truly brilliant but most important, this film should be seen by everyone regardless of your belief in abortion or not. Vera Drake is proof that Roe vs. Wade should never ever be overturned. Even in post WWII, when abortion was illegal in London, the rich could always have an abortion with the finest care for the right price which is one abortion depicted in this film. Vera Drake was helping young woman who had no money but had got themselves into trouble. Unfortunately, one of these women almost die. It is a woman’s right to choose. This woman chose, with her mother by her side, to have an abortion. Unfortunately, she could not afford to do it in the finest facilities but in her own bedroom without proper medical equipment.
Abortions are like basic economics. Supply and demand. If someone wants or needs to have an abortion, they will regardless of the circumstances. There will always be someone in need of an abortion and someone will supply the ability for them to have one. Educating people to be safe is a given. This should be taught through the school systems if parents are unable to have these conversations with their children. Sex education is key. Yet, not having sex is not going to happen. Get real.
It is absolutely mind boggling to me that anyone would want to illegalize abortion. Families with means will continue to have an abortion if need be. Families without means would have to revert to what Vera Drake was providing for young girls in this film.
Every person who has an abortion, as shown in this film, has given thought to the decision they have made. Whether it was rape, too many children already, an affair, too young, or whatever, it is upsetting but necessary. Do people who want to take away a woman’s right to choose not believe in the human spirit? Or that people would be so callous not to have any feelings about choosing to have an abortion. I certainly don’t believe that. It is a difficult decision that stays with a person forever.
As we are undergoing a wave from the Religious right thanks to our President, this particular issue concerns me. It is apparent that the Bush administration would be thrilled to overturn Roe vs. Wade. It scares me. Yet, I would guarantee that if one of George’s daughters got knocked up, an abortion would be had, with the best doctor available and then swept under the carpet. This is case and point on why anyone in this country, regardless of their economic status, should be able to choose to have an abortion with the best medical services available to them. We can’t afford to go back to a time when Vera Drake had to exist.