The first half of the movie—about how an activist organization functions and whether or not its stunts effect real change—is so thematically and cinematically compelling that it's a shame the film doesn't follow that thread through to the end. BPM drops off when it settles for spending most of its second half as a rather routine deathbed melodrama, a sincere and well-acted one, but overdrawn and sparse on insight.
The scene in which the air particles of the dancefloor become the molecules infected by the virus is worthy of a fifth star in itself. What a tour de force, I enjoyed Campillo's "Eastern Boys" but this was greater in a whole other level. A beautiful - if tragic - cinematic testament. <3
Digital. It has a good amount of dispensable styles - slow motions, poeticity effects and, above all, a last parallel editing between two boys making love and an Act Up provocative action of the most extreme televising bad taste . But also, in opposition, shows an admirable directivity and frontality, seeming to resurrect the political cinema to a more generalized public, that is once again stressed with Christmas.
Goosebumps. Righteous anarchism at its finest - there are occasions where non-violent civil disobedience is entirely justified. This early 1990s AIDS advocacy true story protest group in France is one of those cases. The final act of this film borders on masterpiece status.
Silence equals death. Campillo's film examines the Act Up Paris group in the early 90's telling the story of a handful of its members with poignant and powerful results. The young cast excels throughout but its the warm but somewhat chaotic script that truly sings here giving us full fledged characters and not cyphers or stereotypes. The dancehall hybrid sequences are breathtaking.