Normal Heart box
The Normal Heart Blu-ray
It took a long, hard battle to turn The Normal Heart into a movie. Larry Kramer’s story of inaction and heartbreak was originally a play meant to enrage and activate the masses, but HBO’s eventual version is a look back at the past, a reminder to a new generation of the losses of the last. It’s loud but poignant, and filled with characters that should resonate.

The Normal Heart centrally follows Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), a writer in New York City who begins to investigate a "rare cancer" hitting homosexuals in New York. As what ends up being the AIDS crisis continues spreading, Ned convinces Bruce Niles (Taylor Kitsch), Mickey Marcus (Joe Mantello) and others to form the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and to try to spread awareness about AIDS.

The point of Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart is that the audience connects emotionally with the characters and the ideas present. The saddest thing about the film is not that the gay community is faced with an epidemic soon after it gains its social freedom. It’s not that the government and many health institutions stand by and watch AIDS become a major problem in a minority community. The saddest thing about The Normal Heart comes toward the end, when Tommy Boatwright (Jim Parsons) takes the card of a dear friend out of his address book, placing it in a rubber-banded stack of many of his other nearest and dearest friends. That image is what lingers long after Larry Kramer’s ideas about activism fade to the back of our minds.

You can order The Normal Heart over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: Unlike most of HBO’s sets, The Normal Heart does not offer a flashy case or plenty of extras. There’s one bonus feature on the disc, called "How to Start a War." The Normal Heart is actually a story that is rich with history, as well as heartbreak. The cast and crew pop up to discuss the point of the story, while Larry Kramer gets to talk about his own experiences living in New York when the AIDS epidemic broke, as well as what prompted The Normal Heart play to be written. It’s a powerful extra, much like the film itself.

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