As with many films, I hadn’t watched the trailer in advance, but I did read many good reviews. As it turned out, the reviewers’ pride did Pride justice. Plus, the film is based on a true story – a fact that always captures my attention…
Pride starts off with a group of lesbian and gay activists in London, who are raising money for charity, but are initially not having much success. The year is 1984, so the Miners’ strike in Wales is all over the tabloids. Realizing that the Miners are pretty much in the same outsider situation as the gay and lesbian community, the “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign” is brought to life.
On their first trip to Wales, the welcome for the gays and lesbians is not exactly the warmest though. The Miners pretty much mistrust the new arrivals and of course, many of them don’t want to be associated with such “perverts”. Eventually though, the two groups warm up to each other and form an unlikely (and funny) political alliance.
Much of the film was shot in and around original locations such as Onllwyn, Powys, Wales. The scenes taking place in the capital were shot either in London itself (e.g. The Regency Cafe on 17-19 Regency Street, which was used for meetings or the small shop on Kingsgate Road, West Hampstead, which was the Gay’s the Word bookshop) as well as in the surrounding area (Slough in nearby Berkshire or Beech Park Way in Watford, England, where the crew filmed scenes taking place at “Joe’s suburban house”).
Officially classified as a drama, Pride manages to balance many comic “laugh out loud” moments with more serious food for thought. For example, towards the end of film one of the main protagonists (portrayed by Ben Schnetzer) is faced by the possibility of being HIV positive. Aids was of course an important issue at the time. In my opinion, this delicate topic was equally well depicted in Pride as it was in the brilliant Dallas Buyers Club.
Pride also shines in terms of its cast. Bill Nighy, of course, is always a safe bet for a British comedy or drama… I also loved Faye Marsay as a super-tough, yet soft-at-heart punk lesbian. Having previously only seen her in conservative, medieval dresses in The White Queen, I could say that Faye Marsay had a lot of fun playing this role.
Back to Pride: I also loved the soundtrack of this film, especially the fittingly “Love & Pride” by King – such a quintessentially 80s sounding song and perfect for this film!
The Final Verdict:
A feel-good drama / comedy mix, which makes you see the 1980s Miners’ strike in a whole new light!
**** 4 out of 5 stars