Cinema review: Pride

Cinema review: Pride

Cinema review: Pride

First published in Local Leisure
Last updated
Knutsford Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainment Reporter

WE all inhabit the same world and yet we often treat each other as aliens and outcasts.

A lot of films examine the futility of prejudice and social divides.

But Pride shows what can happen when two groups on the fringes show solidarity for one another.

Tony Award-winning theatre director Matthew Warchus’s film is the astonishing true story of the London gay rights campaigners who raised more than £20,000 for a remote mining village in South Wales.

Set in the summer of 1984, this was the time of the miners’ strike and Margaret Thatcher’s iron reign.

It was a troubled era when both the mining community and gay rights campaigners felt disenfranchised and abandoned.

But the problem is the National Union of Mineworkers seems embarrassed to receive their support.

And so starts a warm, funny and thought-provoking tale of how two groups, whose lifestyles could not be more different, slowly begin to relate to each other.

From the extremely tense first meeting when the campaigners jump in their van to address the disgruntled miners to the inspiring moments when the partnership begins to bear fruit, Warchus’s film is well paced and engaging throughout.

Along the way there is also the drama of the people who cannot get beyond their prejudices.

The brilliant cast is on top form including Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West, Paddy Considine and Joseph Gilgun.

New Yorker Ben Schnetzer is also excellent in the lead role as Mark Ashton who is determined to break down barriers.

Meanwhile, George MacKay plays the young and innocent Joe who is swept up in the gay rights movement.

He is almost like the viewers’ guide into this world and it is his story of growing up and finding his voice that is perhaps the most easy to relate to.

Considine stands out too as the stuffy but liberal-minded miner Dai (watch out for his unexpectedly triumphant speech at a gay bar).

If there is one criticism it would be that there are moments of sensationalism in Pride.

For example, despite all the hard work and inspirational speeches, it is seemingly just a flamboyant dance by Dominic West’s character Jonathan which convinces the miners that the gay rights campaigners are ‘ok’.

But on the whole, this story of two worlds colliding is remarkable and worthy of recognition in the next award season.

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OUR Zoo and Life on Mars actor Liz White said she hopes Pride reminds viewers that they have the chance to ‘change the world’.

The 34-year-old plays miner’s wife Margaret Donovan in the film.

She told Weekend: “It is a real story of triumph over adversity and reminds people that they have a chance to change the world.

“What they do and think and vote for will change the world whether they like it or not.

“If they’re apathetic then things will change and if they put their vote down then they’ve got the chance to make what they want happen.

“So I hope it reminds people of that.”

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