The Pass review: Tackling homophobia on the pitch

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Netflix’s latest release on the LGBT section, directed by Ben A. Williams, shines a light on the internalised homophobia in the sporting world.

Split up into three 5-year gaps; the film evokes the reverberated consequences of a hotel-kiss between two male footballers and tests the true value of fame and success.

Russel Tovey transforms the overused-closeted-jock character into something painfully real and human – whose notoriety of being gay threatens to jeopardise his career.

And sadly, this mirrors the reality. Football fans are the most likely to hear homophobic abuse, with 72% of fans hearing it while watching live sports in the past five years (StoneWall).

The research also reveals that 22% of 18-24-year-olds said that they would be embarrassed if their favourite player came out as gay.

The protagonist’s hedonistic and paranoid lifestyle results in disturbing methods in order to preserve his heterosexual image. Including paying a woman to intentionally leak his sex tape so the press won’t speculate about his divorce.

Arinze Kene beautifully depicts the other vulnerable footballer who falls in love with Tovey’s in-denial character – only to spend the next ten years apart.

Skinny love forms between the two in an electrifying, raw and unconventional performance that never leaves the hotel room. Perhaps a symbol for the trapped characters.

The ugly truth makes for an unsatisfying ending, but a realistic ending nonetheless.


Words by Liam Gilliver


Hope and Vicky are your lifestyle editors.

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