The second movie of celebrated very, very young filmmaker Xavier Dolans of last year’s J’Ai Tuer Ma Mere (I Kiiled My Mother), Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) is a more ambitious arty picture of a non ménage-a-trois, as the French title implies, imaginary.
Watch Heartbeats to follow the uncommon story of two people Marie (Monia Chori) and Francis (Dolan himself) and the Adonis, Nico (Neils Schnieder) that comes along. They both dote on him and secretly wish they have an affair with him. And why not? He is the cutest thing, no doubt! So when Nico invites both of them to the country, they both eagerly say yes, but jealousy soon rears it ugly head. Marie wants to leave, which results in a fight between her and Farncsi with Nico just saying: “Love me or Leave me!”
Dolan’ film has not much plot or story but concentrates more on the emotions of the characters. He often has them speaking if being interviewed. He has the habit of zooming the camera in and out fast or move for a close-up intermittently. Though most likely done as his own signature mark, the tactic distracts after a while. His varied use of effects like slow motion, slow fading, odd camera angles and long shots (often of the male body), as he did in his debut feature, serves to enliven the proceedings. Again, the use of classical music is frequent adding some flair and style. Montreal, where the story is set looks good in Dolan’s movie.
Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) is no Jules Et Jim, but it has its moments. One has to hand it to the young auteur (who used all his personal finances to make his first film) to delve into a relationship with a fresh and different look.