In 1985, an autobiographical play titled, “The Normal Heart” opened to the public. Based on Larry Kramer’s activism on gay rights during The AIDS Epidemic, the story focuses on Ned Weeks attempting to raise AIDS awareness during The Early 80s. The Normal Heart earned critical acclaim from critics and audience members alike. Three Decades Later, Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck) adapted the play alongside Larry Kramer himself with Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch & Julia Roberts headlining the film on HBO.
The Normal Heart aired on HBO in 2014. (same year American Sniper came out) It received critical acclaim from from critics and viewers alike. The Normal Heart became an eligible nominee at “The Golden Globes,” “Screen Actors Guild”& “The Primetime Emmys” winning “Best TV Movie.”
American Horror Story’s upcoming tenth season will air on FX and also streaming on Hulu. Mark Ruffalo will reprise his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in an upcoming Disney Plus series titled, “She-Hulk” set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a fan of “American Horror Story” and Marvel, I wanna share my thoughts on The Normal Heart before both aforementioned works are released in the future.
This review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving everybody a chance to this movie. Keep in mind, this ain’t a fully detailed review over a thousand words. The Normal Heart isn’t a three hour plus epic like “Lawrence Of Arabia.” Just a two hour autobiographical drama. Is it an amazing movie? Let’s find out shall we?
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch & Julia Roberts all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Other Cast Members such as Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Gruff, B.D. Wong, Corey Stoll & Finn Wittrock all did a decent job for their respective performances.
Ryan Murphy did an amazing job directing. He also served as an executive producer.
The late Larry Kramer adapted the play. He made sure every element stays intact with help from Ryan pinpointing specific plot points.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez composed instrumental music. He also composed other films including “Traffic,” “Contagion” & “Drive.”
The film is set in 1981-1984 recreating the early 80s.
Set Pieces were manually built by set decorators.
Brad Pitt & Jason Blum served as executive producers courtesy of their production companies Plan B Entertainment & Blumhouse Productions.
Chemistry between Mark & Matt’s character’s Ned & Felix serves as the main highlight. They’re strong bond is emotional yet heartbreaking.
At first, Mark didn’t wanted to star in this film, because he had a childhood best friend who had a difficult life hiding his homosexuality. He didn’t think a straight person isn’t suited for a gay role. Ryan (who’s gay in real life) said it was ok for him to star in the lead role as in honor of Mark’s friend.
Primary Themes are Determination, Sexuality, Loss, Discrimination & Love. Each one is handled maturely.
Without giving too much away, business cards are used as a keepsake for one character.
Matt Bomer actually lost weight. He didn’t need his head digitally inserted on a body double like Chris Evans did in “Captain America: The First Avenger” as a pre-transformed Steve Rogers.
If you have a sensitive side, this movie will make you cry. Trust me, it’s an emotional roller coaster. Hate to break it to you fella. I didn’t cry.
A text reveals the aftermath of The AIDS Epidemic before The End Credits.
Negative: Cinematography often suffers from a bad case of Shaky Cam. Why do most movies and shows have the inability to keep a camera still?
The Final Verdict: A-
From my perspective, The Normal Heart is a amazing movie. Mark Ruffalo totally deserves every award for his emotional performance. If you’re a fan of both American Horror Story and Marvel like me, I highly recommend this movie. Stream it on HBO Max. I’m looking forward to American Horror Story’s 10th season and She-Hulk.
R.I.P. to the victims of The AIDS Epidemic. You’re no longer in pain. You can look after your loved ones beyond the clouds.