STONEWALL – review

STONEWALL

First let me say I did not know much about the Stonewall riots in 1969, before going to this movie, and unfortunately I don’t know much more about the riot.  I know they started the gay-rights movement director Roland Emmerich tried to come up with a way to get the audience involved in the film, but I think it is more a glorified Lifetime movie than one that should be in the theater.stone4

I think a lot of the problem with the movie is the writing.  I think writer Jon Robin Baitz could have written more about the riot and less about a farm boy from Indiana.  while I liked Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) as this farm boy, I just think there was too much about his story and too little about the riots.  The riots lasted three days but we only see 10 minutes of the riot.stone3

With Danny (who is a fictional character), is caught in a sex act with his friend the high school quarterback.  He is not only shammed and bullied from his friends and classmates, but he is asked to leave his house by his father Coach Winters (David Cubitt).  Danny then runs to the village on Christopher Street in New York.  This area is known for being where most gay people lived, most of them being prostitutes.  At this time in the United State being gay is not only illegal, but you can’t even be served alcohol, or congregate.  stone6

Most of the cast play cliche characters.  We have Danny’s new best friend Ray (Jonny Beauchamp), Cong (Vladimir Alexis), Orphan Annie (Caleb Landry Jones), and Marsha P. Johnson (Otoja Abit).  Only one of these characters were really based of a true person.  Danny has trouble on the streets and finds support with Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyes).  Trevor is an activist who Danny begins a relationship with, I won’t tell you how the relationship goes, but you can guess.  stone2

Stonewall Inn is the place where all the homosexual’s hung out.  This Inn was run by the Mob making money where ever they could, which also included making some of the young boys be paid prostitutes even if they didn’t want to be.  The boss of the club is Ed Murphy (Ron Perlman),  a very tough Mob man who does a lot of evil things, but of course gets caught up in the end.  We see a lot of cop on gay crime, and that with the Mob related crimes pushes the gay community over the edge where the riot starts.  stone1

The one thing I did learn is that the Pride Parade overhear is to commemorate the Stonewall Riots which started the Gay Rights Activist movement.  I liked the flick, but can only grade it a C – , it isn’t the subject, but more of the writing and how over the top Hollywood fake the story is.

Brad Watts

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