Starring: Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Paddy Considine, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, George MacKay, Jessica Gunning
Running Time: 120 minutes
Extras: The True Story Featurette, Making Of Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Feature Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Warchus and writer Stephen Beresford, Theatrical Trailer, Audio Description.
PRIDE is a true celebration of overcoming unexpected obstacles that in the mid-80s were controversial during volatile political times in the UK. With the miners striking, HIV AIDS in its early stages of spreading and the gay and lesbian community more rightfully prominent in their stature and awareness, a group of UK gay campaigners in 1984 get together to help miners during their extensive strike of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Initially based in London, we learn about the lives of a dedicated group of gay and lesbian activists who are looking to back something they believe in and raise the profile of people who are going through tough times getting their message across. As the miner’s strikes are prominent, Mark (excellently portrayed by the upcoming Ben Schnetzer) recognises they need help and they find a community in Wales and offer their help.
When they first arrive, there’s definite doubt between the people living there and the sexuality of our team but the important thing about PRIDE is the consequential outcome which works so well with an impressive ensemble cast of characters who work effortlessly off each other. PRIDE is relatively easy-going in nature but it doesn’t shy away from highlighting prejudice from differing sources. A prime example is George MacKay’s Joe (or Bromley as he’s nicknamed), who has told his family he’s going off to cookery school but in truth has headed to the big city to join in the annual Pride parade. While there, he meets up with the group and finds himself welcomed but he’s still aware he’s not ‘come out’ to his family back home. Later on in proceedings, he heads home and his parents have accidentally found out he’s gay and want him to forget about it but, of course, it’s who he is and this eventually leads to an emotional but self-confident decision for him to leave. This is an significant part of the narrative, much like when Andrew Scott’s Gethin gets beaten up just for being gay and when a brick is thrown through the window at them. I still don’t understand the anger and fear that some people feel and, for me, as long as you’re not a moronic fool, your sexuality or background is irrelevant. Maybe I’m lucky to be part of a generation who, mostly, believe in equality for all.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, Tony Award winner, and written by Stephen Beresford, every actor has their chance to shine and it’s happily difficult to single out performances as the young cast alongside the likes of Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Paddy Considine really shine a bright light on the incredible talent we have right now.
More feel-good than provocative, the PRIDE team have decided to balance this towards the true and relevant story of people helping each other, no matter what your background is. The poignant element is easily integrated because you actually care about the main characters and this is entirely down to the likable, positive ensemble cast and through this re-told true story, I feel nothing but PRIDE for everything that happened and came to be.
[usr=4] PRIDE is released on Blu-ray and DVD today.