Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heartbeats Review

Xavier Dolan certainly wore his influences on his sleeve early in his career and I find that admirable, because it is clear he was tipping his cap to the filmmakers who inspired him rather than stealing their ideas. That being said, it may be a little too on the nose here in Heartbeats as instead of focusing on what was in front of me, I continued to think about sequences throughout the Wong Kar-wai masterpiece In the Mood for Love. It's a terrific work to draw inspiration from, but if you are going to make your own film very comparable in terms of style and somewhat in concept, you need to do it extremely well. Otherwise all the audience can think in the end is, I have already seen a movie just like this and it was better.

Heartbeats is a ton of style and features across the board admirable performances but the narrative is paper thin. The story revolves around a love triangle after a cute, confident guy named Nicolas (Niels Schneider) enters the lives of Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri), and they both compete for his heart while also trying to figure out his sexual orientation in the process. The film has endearing moments and its fair share of humor, but the back and forth becomes tedious quickly and I kept waiting for something different, something more. Different and more never really came.

That being said, the talent of Dolan behind the camera is absolutely remarkable, and the passion and tenderness he feels for the material comes oozing out of the frame. It is impossible to hate a film like this but it is also hard to love because it never pulls you in like I would have hoped.

I have seen all Dolan work except for Tom at the Farm, which is now finally getting a U.S. release date soon, and I have good news and bad news regarding Heartbeats. The bad news first: it's the worst Dolan work I have encountered thus far. The good news? His worst is still really, really good.


No comments:

Post a Comment