Movie Review: The Normal Heart - HIV-AIDS Crisis in New York City 1981-1984
April 27, 2017 5:35pm CST
I Decided to watch The Normal Heart, This film, of course, depicts the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, the film stars Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, and Matt Bomer not to mention some Hollywood heavyweights like a little lady named Julia Roberts. I'm a big fan of Jonathon Groff who is only briefly featured in the film, as the first friend of the stars to die of AID's, Groff was on the little show Glee, which I did watch and did love. But his real promise was shown from a little film called C.O.G. which if you haven't seen I highly recommend it's based on a short story by my favorite author David Sedaris. Anyway onto The Normal Heart, it opens up the average gay-party scene. Seeing the beginnings of the epidemic and seeing the reaction of the gay community being so unbelievable to sex being how the disease could be transmitted, it's scary to think but would you have believed it had AID's came into existence now? I mean think about it, if you were a gay male having fun, being sexually active all the time would you believe a straight woman telling you Gay-Sex can transmit this deadly disease? so many people are so busy having fun and being sexualized with movies and tv and lusting after their next crush, few of us stop to look at all the issues, would we have looked at AIDS as something other people need to worry about and not us? The fact that so many of us we're treated like second-class citizens even by medical staff makes me sick, but it also makes me proud that people like Dr. Emma Brookner, based on Dr. Linda Laubenstein we're there during this important time in history to help so many that we're suffering, and to teach them about the dangers of unsafe sex. Which this film has a lot of by the way including some very intense sex scenes between Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer. The sight of the two lying on the bed naked wrapped between a blanket cuddling, unaware of their future is such a beautiful sight. The politics and the news outlets were in a fury on both sides, GMHC – Gay Men's Health Crisis a group determined to bring awareness and help in gathering funds for research on the disease that would eventually become known as AID's. It's hard to watch at times, remembering this is all too real, this happened and happens to people just like me and you. This is not some fictionalized zombie movie of an epidemic that doesn't exist, this flesh-eating disease is all too real, it's not a zombie ripping it from one's body, more a body ravished by a disease that a simple touch could cause your flesh to fall off. The soundtrack for the film has the usual ballad's of the 80's disco theme, as well as a performance of The Man I Love by a Gay Man's Chorus. Seeing a loving dance between the film's stars, shows the love that developed between two men, the frantic celebration outside the event when Felix (Bomer) agrees to move in with Ned (Ruffalo) on a dock, with the statue of liberty in the background is a beautiful scenic effect and a touching moment. Mark Ruffalo proves his acting prowess in this film, I only wish he had been awarded best actor at the Golden Globes. I definitely highly recommend this film, all the main actors, and supporting give great performances here. The moving speech by Ned (Ruffalo) gave towards his brother's intolerant views, and not being supportive enough of the cause is one of my favorite moments in the film. Jim Parsons gives a strong supporting performance, he shares some of the same mannerisms in the film as his Sheldon Cooper character on TV's Big Bang Theory, but also shows some of his dramatic beginnings. Julia Roberts rekindles that fire she had in movies like Erin Brockovich, standing up for what she believes in. Can you imagine getting a call every month when a friend, or acquaintance dies? I have cried a lot during this thinking about all of those who have died from this, so many beautiful souls gone long before there time.... Jim Parsons as his character Tommy Boatwright gives a gut-wrenching eulogy at a funeral for a fallen friend, and to close he says, and I quote “I'm just going to say I'm mad. I'm f**kin' mad. I keep screaming inside: Why are they letting us die? Why is no ... And here is the truth– the answer – they just don't like us.” I will tell you I never really watched The Big Bang Theory it's not that I didn't find humor in it, I just never watched it besides an episode here and there. But this performance has really given me a new respect for the actor Jim Parsons, and I can tell you if I ever do another theatrical performance his role is my dream role at this moment, I feel like that emotion, that strength that caring nature is inside me, and I would love if my local theater would let us do “The Normal Heart” Bring your tissues, bring a friend to hug and hold and be thankful for, and get ready for one of the most touching movies of our time, about one of the biggest crisis in our world's history.
9 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
30 Apr 17
I saw the original done on stage at The Public Theatre before it transferred to Broadway. I have always been a big fan of Larry Kramer's--in fact he was here a couple of weeks ago promoting his book and got a chance to see him for the first time since the 1990s. By the way two other excellent AIDS plays/films to see are "As Is" and "Longtime Companion".