Monday, December 29, 2014

Pride (2014)

Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer:    Stephen Beresford
Cast:       Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine

U.K. Gay activists work to help the miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984 in Thatcher ruled Britain. Initially their help was viewed with apprehension but they gradually muster up support in a Welsh village who accept their contribution. 

It is another one of those feel good activist kind of film and the first half of it is quite filled with all those cliches. Thatcher has been a figure of hatred in many parts of UK and the Liverpool fans forum that I frequent had plenty of people with saved up champagne bottles to be opened when she finally kicked the bucket. 'Maggie Maggie Maggie-Die Die Die' is also a favorite chant for many football supporters from different parts of the country. Hatred towards her is not restricted to the mining towns since the economic reforms and privatization that she introduced laid waste many different cities that are not London in the United Kingdom. It was natural for the gay rights activists in London to show their solidarity towards another group, the miners, who were also getting targeted by the establishment. I found the level of prejudice against the LGBT community in the 80s UK to be quite surprising. Despite its cliches (a character that gets a full arc over the course of film with a coming of age element, village community singing songs in a cinematic fashion etc) it manages to well you up towards the end and when a film manages to do that you gotta say it is pretty good. Mark Kermode has Pride as his best film from 2014. I think he is a bit prone to have a bias towards little films from UK and we can forgive him for that. 

Overall it is a good one time 'feel good' watch. 'Brassed off' is another good film that deals with the struggles of mining community. Pride is much more about Gay Rights than miners. After the events shown in the film, the Labour Party in UK managed to pass a resolution to include LGBT rights in their manifesto and the vote from the mineworkers proved to be decisive. It is horrendous that in US the film got an R certificate which says much about that fucked up country considering it is a developed one. 

Rating: 3.5/5