The issue of gay rights has always been a controversial one. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are sadly seen by some as taboo and unacceptable. Thankfully, today the stigma has melted away significantly but in the 1980s, gay people were seen in a less favorable light. The new British dramedy Prime tackles the issue of gay rights in a way that isn’t just lighthearted and funny but inspirational and truly meaningful. All of the cinematic elements come together here to form a film that audiences gay and straight will find charming and downright great.
Pride focuses on a small group of gay rights activists in London during 1984 who decide to help the National Union of Mineworkers who have been negatively affected by the UK miners’ strike. The group would soon become known as the Lesbians and Gays Support the Minors (LGSM) and the unusual combination of these two groups of people would serve as a truly unique and eventually very beneficial partnership. The film follows the struggles and the progress of LGSM and the allies and friendships they form in their pursuit of justice and acceptance.
What makes Pride so special is its dynamite cast. Ben Schnetzer plays Mark Ashton, LGSM’s courageous and outspoken leader. He brings a certain amount of heroism and confidence to the role, really showcasing his talent as an actor. Bill Nighy plays a stuffy but accepting leader of the miners’ hall. Imelda Staunton is a delight as a small town organizer. Paddy Considine adds some class as one of the supporters and Dominic West is stellar as the oldest of the LGSM members who not only provides learned wisdom but serves as a very colorful character.
Based on a true story, Pride is a film that is sure to entertain. Sure, it contains comedic elements seen in many films before it but it is a wholesome and highly enjoyable piece of cinema. The subject of certain persecuted groups is explored in depth, whether it’s homosexuals or wrongly treated mineworkers. The message is as clear as day: everyone deserves to be treated with respect and not be abused. This film states that message clearly and it is done in a way that will frankly, amaze audiences.
Director Matthew Warchus has done a fine job here capturing all of the characters in his lens. Each character is given an appropriate amount of screen time and the relationships are established very strongly. Screenwriter Stephen Beresford’s words leap off the page as each actor recites his dialogue. It is a script full of heart, fun and at times, raunchy attitude. Pride is a film most audiences can appreciate. It isn’t crude or in bad taste and that is a huge relief with so many ridiculous teen sex comedies out there. Even in a fairly liberal world, Pride might rub certain close-minded folks the wrong way and that is a real shame. The film’s purpose is not to anger or annoy, its aim is to shine light on persecuted groups of all shapes and sizes. Pride is a feel good film with a powerful cast and an even more powerful message.
Pride will have a limited theatrical release on September 26th, 2014