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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Normal Heart

When HBO announced that there will be no Game of Thrones for Memorial Day, I was sad to hear that news. What they offer is a made for TV movie of The Normal Heart based on the play of the same name written by Larry Kramer, who also wrote the teleplay for the adaptation.

The events take place during the disease crisis of 1981 when cases of AIDS first surfaced. The story follows the character of Ned Weeks who is a gay activist trying to get the attention of the public and the government of a looming plague that affects mostly homosexual men. The struggle does not primarily focused on their efforts to be heard but with themselves too. The discrimination towards gay men is heavily featured.

Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) helms this film in great precision in story telling making his viewers empathized with the characters. While most of the actors that were involved in the project are gay, Mark Ruffalo rises up as Ned Weeks. He delivers his character as if we can feel his loneliness to the cause he is trying to fight for. Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner has delivered one of the most affecting monologue in the film.

This might be one of the most important film of the year that tackles social issues faced by homosexuals and those who are living with AIDS not only from the time of the disease crisis but up to the present time. While some may dismiss this film saying that it mainly targets the LGBT community, I would say that this film is meant for those who are not part of the community. The film practically shown what is in the LGBT community without hesitation.

The films succeeds in delivering the most important events that it can struct your heart through and through. While it is somewhat preachy, it does not fail to get to the point. There is a message into this film. A message that not only gay men and women should know but to all - that the disease is not the personality but the perception that goes around. That AIDS is the disease and not the people who are infected by it.

Much has changed since 1981. There were treatments for AIDS but not a cure has been discovered. Yet, the disease that the society has against the condition and the people that has them is even worse than the condition itself. The film tries to undo that notion and in my own perception it has succeeded in that aspect.

The Normal Heart is brave and bold. A must watch for everyone. A complete eye-opener that eventually leads to an open heart.



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