I find it interesting reviewing Stonewall because I am not gay and never heard of the historical time for the gay movement. Another aspect I find interesting is the movie is directed by Roland Emmerich. The genre is completely against his norm with movies like Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, The Patriot and Godzilla.
The feedback from those who were at Stonewall says Emmerich’s take on the event is a total lie and doesn’t capture what really happened. I am sure the overall message from what happened is there, but it was not about a young, white, blonde, blue-eyed young man from the mid-west named Danny Winters, and played wonderfully by Jeremy Irvine. He arrives in NYC because he earned a scholarship to Columbia University. He is without room and board and hardly has any money. He befriends a group of drag queens and transgender males. Ray or Ramona, played wrenchingly by Jonny Beauchamp, senses a connection and brings him into the fold. Ray convinces Danny to join their way of life and hustle in order to survive. Sure, Ray is romantically interested in Danny, but he doesn’t feel the same way. Though a nice story, it doesn’t have anything to do with the true story about Stonewall Riots.
Hardly any white people were at the riots. It was not a white young man who threw the brick and started the riots. A Puerto Rican drag queen named Marsha P. Johnson, he was black, started the riots. The reason for the riots is because black drag queens and black transgender males were relentlessly harassed by the NYC police department. The true story makes sense to me because NYC is so diverse. Yet, Emmerich’s version is just the opposite, and I am not sure why he went to the extreme and tried to rewrite history. Most of the non-white characters in the movie are non-threatening and exaggerated. Unreal.
All in all, the movie is a good story with great emotional acting from a talented cast and the music by Rob Simonsen creates the strong undertones need to support the story, but not the true story, only based on the incident.