120 BPM – **

Posted: May 7, 2018 in 2017, Drama, France, LGBT themed, XX

It’s the early 90s. The AIDS epidemic is still widespread amongst homosexuals, prostitutes, immigrants… and nothing is being done. The press ignores the disease. The government isn’t spending any money on prevention. And the pharmaceutical companies aren’t really in a hurry to find a cure.

Nathan decides to join the radical activist group ACT UP and falls for both the president of the organisation and one of the fiercest members of the group. He starts a relationship with the latter, even though the kid is already in a final stage of the disease.

This romantic premise isn’t really the focus of the movie. The activism is much more important. The actions, based on true facts, are well re-enacted and give you a good idea of what the movement did. It’s part of the LGBT history that needs to be told. The movie also shows how even in an organisation with a common cause, opinions can differ a lot. It’s all filmed in a pseudo-realistic way, but never tries to look like a documentary. Which is a good thing. And it’s a French drama, which automatically implies that characters aren’t necessarily there to please the audience and endings aren’t necessarily happy. Which is a good thing as well.

It’s fascinating until one of the main characters’ health deteriorates. The beginning is informative and intriguing. But towards the end it becomes a real drama. And the 120 bpm tempo slows down to a flatline. The last 20 minutes are just dragging on and on and on.

It’s a good movie. But it’s not nearly as good as what reviewers want you to believe. There are a lot of characters and all are introduced in a superficial way. Maybe a miniseries would have been better.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6135348

 

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