Misbehaviour is an apt name for a movie about a group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London. An event which became a major milestone in the Women Liberation moment.
As a very british movie, Misbehaviour‘s overall arc will be familiar to fans of feelgood British cinema. And so will the way it triumphs over formula to tell a thoroughly crowd-pleasing story.
However, what the movie gets wrong is the scope of the protests. In the movie, they’re too toned down. For an event that sparked the Women’s Liberation movement, the important thing was highlighting the scope that the protest had at that time, and the subsequent changes it managed to impose. Sadly, that isn’t shown here.
Instead, what you get is a focus on Keira Knightley‘s character without giving her much space to shine, and an extremely subtle interpretation of Miss Grenada’s Jennifer Hosten‘s achievement as the first woman of color to win the Miss World pageant. Both characters deserved way more.
To be honest, the movie is a little too well-behaved for a subject meant to be inflammatory with angry characters. In addition, embracing British properness in a broad approach to the era ultimately does a disservice to the stories of these gutsy women.
Should you watch it?
From a historical sense, yes. However, the movie is a bit too safe and crowd-pleasing but reminds us that some things are still worth standing up for.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream Misbehaviour exclusively on Crave in Canada.