Pride – The DVDfever Cinema Review

pride Pride is a new British film based on real events, set during the miner’s strike.

Joe (George MacKay), nicknamed Bromley for a large portion of the film, since that’s from where he hails, is a young lad going to college and looking for somewhere to fit in. He inadvertently stumbles across a small group of people, based in London, who soon develop into the not-at-all-catchy “Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners”. Once they’ve collected the first £200, they start looking around for a local group who’ll take their money, but they’re declined by all of them due to their sexual orientation. Eventually, they find the only group who’ll take their money, miners in a small valley in Wales (cue long road trip in a van which is clearly on its last legs).

I was 12 at the time of the strike, and obviously knew about the basics, but had no idea about this group’s involvement. Even still, it plays out like a standard British comedy at times, and although it’s based on real events, it’s scripted to have specific highs and lows, just as if it was all fiction, making it fairly predictable. The Welsh countryside is nice, though.

Despite saying they’d have no leader, the group is effective led by Mark (Ben Schnetzer) and Jonathan (Dominic West), with support in London from Joseph Gilgun as Mike, Monica Dolan as Joe’s Mother, Faye Marsay as Steph – Joe’s aforementioned first lesbian, and Welsh connection Gethin (Andrew Scott), who runs a “gay book shop”. In Wales, the strong cast includes Imelda Staunton (Hefina), Paddy Considine (Dai), Jessica Gunning (Sian) and Bill Nighy (Cliff).


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Quite why they were choosing to support the miners is not explained, as there’s lots of causes out there, but then they could also be looking for somewhere to belong and this gives them a reason to band together a strong force.

There’s a number of laughs to be had in this film, such as when the inexperienced Joe blurts out to Steph (Faye Marsay), “I’ve never met a lesbian before”, but all too often they’re signposted a mile off, such as when they drive past a number of bigots with a clear, disgusted look on their face, it doesn’t take a genius to work out it’s because the name of their group is emblazoned on the side of the van. And how long until one of the Welsh village finally comes out, and which one will it be? You may as well start watching the film with a bingo card.

It has a tough message to deliver, and it succeeds in doing so – including when it throws in the dark shadow of AIDS, but even when it makes you laugh, it does make you feel like the film’s also trying to shout at you “This is the new Full Monty, and you will love it!”, even though you may only just like it. And if it wasn’t based on a true story, you wouldn’t feel like it has an ending which is in any way believable.

Still, Pride has the feelgood factor, and will sit well in a 9pm slot on BBC2 in a year’s time (since it’s made by BBC Films).

Pride is released in UK cinemas on September 12th, and click on the poster for the full-size image.


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Cert:
Running time: 120 minutes
Year: 2014
Released: September 12th 2014
Format: 2.35:1
Rating: 6/10

Director: Matthew Warchus
Producer: David Livingstone
Screenplay: Stephen Beresford
Music: Christopher Nightingale

Cast:
Joe: George MacKay
Mark: Ben Schnetzer
Mike: Joseph Gilgun
Jonathan: Dominic West
Steph: Faye Marsay
Gethin: Andrew Scott
Cliff: Bill Nighy
Hefina: Imelda Staunton
Dai: Paddy Considine
Debbie: Sophie Evans
Zoe: Jessie Cave
Jeff: Freddie Fox
Eccentric: Larissa Jones
Joe’s Mother: Monica Dolan
Sian: Jessica Gunning


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