Friday, June 6, 2014

"The Normal Heart" By Larry Kramer

In HBO's powerful filmed version of "The Normal Heart," the autobiographical play by Larry Kramer, Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), is a gay rights activist who rails against everyone who denied, ignored or didn't shout loud enough about the AIDS crisis as it ravaged New York City's gay community in the 1980s. No one escaped Ned's–or Kramer's–wrath: politicians such as NYC Mayor Ed Koch and President Ronald Reagan, who found it politically expedient to ignore a virus killing gays; fellow members of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, who weren't militant enough; the gay community, which wasn't ready to adopt necessary precautions–a point also stressed by Dr. Emma Brookner (Julia Roberts). Ned suffers a personal loss with the harrowing illness and death of his lover, Felix (Matt Bomer), a New York Times reporter, and wrangles with his brother (Alfred Molina), who won't accept him as fully normal. Larry Kramer was known as a rabble-rouser and a kvetch–and, given the horrors of AIDS pandemic and the disgracefully inadequate response to it, he was exactly what the times needed. He's still a fighter, as shown in the interview above.

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