120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) : ‘IFFI’ Review
Back in the 1990s, the HIV epidemic had hit every country like a curse. At the center of which were young gay men who were ultimately blamed not only for their sexual orientation but for going against religious ethics and unethical subversion of love and sex. In hard times like these where even the government was too sluggish to their needs, activist groups like ACT-UP were their only possible get-away.
Clocking at 140 minutes, the film takes its own time to settle us into these people trying to marginalize their concerns over identity politics, government mishaps, and a lack of concern by the society. While it does sound like one of those propaganda Oscar-baits, Campillo never asks us to sympathize with any of these wonderfully drawn out characters. While it is a little hard to get totally indulged in the subject matter if you are unaware of the period the film represents, the planning plotting and everything thereof is filled with every side of the coin. The enclosed room-discussions are not always calm, lively and forgiving. The revolting ideas of the whole group often come to a cross-fire which is both exhilarating and engaging if you like to rub your intellectual roots in all possible opinions.
The film trailblazes other LGBT film with a significantly superior understanding of sex in a relationship. Campillo draws his characters into three linear things – the discussions, the protest, and the dancing. Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) and Nathan (Arnaud Valois) who share a significant amount of screentime, serve arguably standardized standpoints about both the personal and political aspect of these activists. Their passionate sexual endeavors bestow the film with more realism, making their struggle together feel more intimate.
Well-acted, bold, brave and poignant to an extent of complete speechless numbness, Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a moving portrayal of a time in history that changed the face of a community still fighting for the right to live as normal human beings. The activist in the film snap their fingers when they strongly agree or support an opinion, I snap my fingers to support this film, which, if not relevant enough, does happen to be extremely important.