Sometimes history can strike in the most random of places, at the most unexpected occasion. In the case of the true life story being told in director Philippa Lowthorpe’s Misbehaviour, the time and place is 1970’s Miss World pageant in the UK, and the history that was about to happen came from two fronts. With Keira Knightly, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Greg Kinnear in the film’s cast, among others, the story of what happened on that faithful night is about to be told for theatrical audiences. Take a first look at Misbehaviour, below:
One front of Misbehaviour’s real life dramedy comes from Knightly’s character, Sally Alexander. A member of the Women’s Liberation movement, she and her compatriots were present at the 1970 Miss World pageant to disrupt the proceedings, partially because of the nature of humor presented by one of that year’s hosts, American comedian Bob Hope (Kinnear.) That very same year, the first black contestants from South African and Grenada would be part of the competition, with Miss Grenada, Jennifer Holsten (Mbatha-Raw) being crowned as the winner for 1970’s proceedings. Two very different paths were blazed that night, and Misbehaviour is about to tie both of those historical moments together in cinematic glory.
With the twin strains of Women’s Liberation decrying the pageant as a sort of misogynist spectacle, and the journey of Miss Grenada and Miss South Africa to the first and second place spot in the 1970 Miss World pageant, respectively, Misbehaviour isn’t content with just tackling feminism through one particular plotline. Both the timely themes of representation and sexism are in play with this particular film, and it looks like the very socially conscious dramedy is going to have to have a moment where period piece veterans Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw face off on behalf of those very subjects.
With a keen sense of humor and a big heart on display, Misbehaviour is ready to enlighten the world about this singular moment in history, while also reminding us all why activism and representation in media are such vital and important themes. Above all else, the movie looks like it’s going to present the message that while we should always push for social change, we don’t need to discard our dreams to get to the desired result.
The world could always use a movie as kind spirited as Misbehaviour looks, and audiences will be able to see the results for themselves when the movie hits theaters and on demand rental for the US on September 25th. Though if you’re in the film’s home market of the UK, you can catch Misbehaviour for yourself on various video on demand platforms at this very moment.