BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a moving, lump-in-the-throat love story but should also resonate on a political level as a testimony to the power of activism to awaken an indifferent world.
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His new film acquires considerable urgency and raw emotional power in the closing stretch. But at just under two-and-a-half talky hours it's almost maddeningly protracted, maintaining a somewhat cold intellectual approach that might have been improved by greater emphasis on the beautiful scenes of intimacy, tenderness, naked fear and helplessness that punctuate the action.
In between raids, in between the meetings with ACT UP members and those who hold the keys to their possible survival, BPM is at its most intimate when observing the exchange of war stories.
Assembling the story out of small moments and gripping exchanges, Campillo grounds this earnest drama in a sense of purpose.
[A] sprawling, thrilling, finally heart-bursting group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists in the early 1990s.
Campillo doesn't edit for our comfort and we feel both the tragedy and the boredom of death.
Through effective direction, the activism on display here is inspiring enough to rile one up to set aside preoccupations and try to make a difference in the world.
The film delves deep into the soul of a fundamentally important cause, with a slice-of-life look at a time in history that feels incredible urgent in today’s torn-up world.
This film has what its title implies: a heartbeat. It is full of cinematic life.
Campillo has mounted a methodical tribute to this era of activism which successfully balances everything on its plate: what’s brought to the table is a filling meal from a good chef, only lacking the genius of inspired presentation.