Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Review: Pride

World of Blackout Film Review

Pride Poster

Cert: 15 / 120 mins / Dir. Matthew Warchus
WoB Rating: 5/7

I got the feeling when I first saw the trailer for Pride that it could be something of a mixed bag, and that feeling was indeed borne out in full with the film's screening tonight. Stephen Beresford's screenplay is at times touching and delicate, and at others almost overbearingly condescending. Thankfully, the former outweighs the latter, although when the moments of shrieking tweefulness do arrive, they do so with all the subtlety of a hen party locked in a sex shop.

The biggest problem, for me, is that there are just too many characters for the runtime. Although the film doesn't shy away from issues facing the LGBT community in 1984, there's also the feeling it's sanitising them somehow, with each of the London-based activists sporting a different problem (and regional accent), most of which seem neatly tied up by the end-credits (their problems, not their accents). It seems odd that a film which is all about unashamedly being who you are and following your heart often feels like it's pretending too hard. The group's counterparts in the Welsh mining village receiving their support are treated a little more evenly, although the initial feeling of stand-offishness between the mining community and the metropolitan fundraisers doesn't play as large a part as you might expect. As a whole it works very well, but I can't help feeling that a six-part TV drama could have explored the motivations and backgrounds of everyone better than a two hour film really can.

But despite my nitpicking there's not a duff performance in the whole movie, with Ben Schnetzer, Paddy Considine, Faye Marsay, Dominic West and Bill Nighy slightly underplaying their roles to perfection. George MacKay also fares well, and Joseph Gilgun is criminally underused. In all honesty, it's the cast that make the film what it is, and while I don't think it's perfect, it could certainly have been handled more poorly in less caring hands. I'm just worried that the inevitable comparisons to the likes of The Full Monty will detract from a story which is far, far greater.

Pride is a picture painted in very broad strokes, which works for and against it, but makes for a very effective film and has its heart is in the right place, which counts for a lot. If you're not at least smiling by the final reel then you really have no soul.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Close enough for jazz, yeah.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Mostly, although I also found my eyes rolling a couple of times.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Almost certainly.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
As much as I enjoyed it, this is a DVD-movie.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
I will, but probably not for a while.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There ain't.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
It's not just me that had it with the shrieking though, is it?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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