‘Heartbeats’: Flatline

February 24, 2011

I don’t have a lot to say about Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeats” because the impression this slight, aimless film left on me was so negligible.


A wan yet overheated story of a romantic triangle, this ostensibly is a film about two people who love the same person; Francis (Dolan himself) and Marie (Monia Chokri), his best friend. They live in Montreal and both are smitten when they meet Nicolas (Niels Schneider), just in from the country.


Nicolas is buff and handsome and, perhaps, ambisexual, although Dolan plays games about that. Dolan shows Francis and Marie competing for Nicolas’ attention; he even offers color-coded fantasy sequences – hers awash in red light, his in green – of each of them getting intimate with Nicolas.


But these are just fantasies of the two rivals for Nicolas’ attention. Dolan is more interested in the damage that this competition wreaks on their friendship but, really, who cares? You wouldn’t want to spend time with either of them; they’re pouty, moody, pretentious and otherwise unpleasant. Just like this film.



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