Stonewall trailer: 2012 director tackles '60's gay rights

  • Rohan Naahar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2015 12:09 IST

The first trailer for Stonewall, a gay rights drama directed by destroyer-of-worlds Roland Emmerich has been released.

The film is based on the Stonewall riots of Greenwich New York circa 1969 that are widely considered to be the starting point for modern Gay liberation movements across the world. An era when the hair was permed, the music Hendrix-y, and the laws bigoted.

Watch the trailer here

Opening with President Obama gravely declaring, "The nation was founded on a bedrock principle, that we are all created equal," the trailer introduces us to our hero played by War Horse's Jeremy Irvine. Like many youths of the time, he has run away from home and has found a safe haven amongst others like him. The place: Stonewall Inn, Greenwich, New York. The cause: Gay rights. While treading relatively familiar territory that by now has become synonymous with dramas of this kind, it does offer two things: A competent adaptation of a momentous event, and supremely gorgeous visuals. Yes, there are the requisite rousing speeches about doing the right thing, molotov cocktails, riots, mobs, teens finding love, losing love and more than its fare share of crooked homophobic cops (who may or may not turn out to be gay themselves). But there is also an earnestness, thanks mainly to what appears to be a solid leading turn from Jeremy Irvine and passionate work by Emmerich. Special mention must also go to cinematographer Markus Forderer, who bathes the turbulent streets of New York with a warm glow.

Roland Emmerich is a man most famous for helming huge disaster flicks like The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day and 2012. He did take a detour of sorts with Shakespearean authorship drama Anonymous, which was underseen and overlooked. But it did prove that the director can handle small-scale drama.

Films like Milk and most impressively Pride have already tacked similar themes with great success. Whether or not Stonewall matches up remains to be seen. But despite the cliche-ridden approach, it might just surprise us all. Stonewall stars Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Caleb Landry Jones and Ron Perlman. It is written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Roland Emmerich. It will make its world premiere at TIFF this September before releasing on the 25th of the same month.


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