on January 11, 2001
As this was a "pig in a poke" selection, I had no pre-conceived notions as to what this film would amount to. From the very first frame the wonder began, and it continued to the very last roll of the credits. Not only are the performances of Jason Flemyng and Anthony Sher excellent, but the entire cast is great. Directed with an apparent love for the subject,the film never has a false moment. We do care about the characters and their circumstances, and feel certain that whatever may become of them, they will have made choices out of love, not pity. There are wonderful life lessons for anyone here...don't miss it!
on July 15, 2000
I enjoyed this film (a.k.a. Indian Summer) and, as a result, I have watched it many times. Sure Tonio (Flemyng) is an obnoxious queen at times. But most of the time he is a man who lives by dancing. Although he laughingly denies it, he escapes through dance. Having worked as a costumer for a dance company, I know some of these people really are obnoxious. The relationship between Tonio and Jack (Sher) is believable within the context of their backgrounds. For those who can't see it, the visit to Greece codifies it perfectly. Sadly, they love each other in a way that wouldn't have been possible without AIDS. The dance company (Ballet Luna - I love that name) is believable within itself. It's just like this, folks. As a troupe, they made me smile.
Having also been an actor, I was impressed with the acting, too. Almost everyone portrays their character believably. Flemying was the most entertaining to watch because he portrays Tonio on so many different levels. The past keeps catching up with the future in him. The energy was right, the focus was clear, he was dynamic. Jack's repeated asking, "Why aren't you angry?" is fundamental. Tonio truly is angry and it comes out through his antagonistic behavior throughout the film. Jack, for all his perception, can't see it (yet) because Tonio successfully runs from it. Finally, when temporary paralysis stops his running, the anger catches up to him and he has time to admit it and reflect upon the past. Duncan (Voss) was the surprise. I loved his representation of the dignity of the past.
The message, living and dying with AIDS, is, albeit, a tired one. Can anything original be said about this subject? We've heard it all before. Thankfully this film deals with it from another angle. Some people really are tired of dealing with it, and those people are portrayed here. It is downright comical the way these people escape it by disco dancing, karaoke singing, and, of course, drinking.
Whether these people are likable or not is a matter of personal taste. I wouldn't choose them for friends, except maybe Vincent (Aiden Waters). He's adorable. But the film entertained me. I am not tired of watching it repeatedly. I think it is a well crafted film.
on October 22, 2001
Martin Sherman, author of the acclaimed play "Bent," wrote the screenplay for this thoughtful and moving drama of life in the era of AIDS! Directed by Nancy Meckler, this 1997 British film stars Jason Flemyng as the dancer who is too proud to let his HIV-positive status interfer with either his career or his love life! In addition to Flemyng's outstanding performance as Tonio, is the story line which has him finding comfort with an older man, a psychotherapist who is angry over the deaths of so many of his patients! "Alive and Kicking!" is one of those life affirming films in which it does not matter if you are gay or straight, sick or well, because it will touch everybody!
on April 2, 2002
One thing I look for in a gay based movie is whether the actors either gay or straight, can give a realistic performance. Jason Flemying and Antony Sher gave a convincing dialog, and romantic scene, after scene. All the actors were good and the dance sequences were outstanding, (and I don't like ballet) .
The ending dance is very sexy and the cast really seemed caught-up in the dream-like-naked-torso-writhing and really enjoyed themselves.
The fact that this was about aids and people dyeing could have smothered the whole movie, but, it didn't dwell on the morbid, rather it gave everyone hope to carry -on with their lives.
Jack knew that if Tonio was not dying, he would not have given him a chance at the romance they have. And Tonio knows that there is a certain infatuation that Jack has for the fact that Tonio is dying.
They have their spats and both men need extra room now an then. Jack from the everyday dealings with aids patients (he is a therapist) to Tonio's hurting, aching body and the pressure to perform one last show.
I got wrapped-up in these characters and was able to have genuine feelings for them. I saw this on vhs and I understand it is available on DVD which I will add to my collection...
on March 31, 2000
This is one of those movies you just take a chance on from the title alone. Fleminyg and Scher are absoulutely amazing as "life" crossed lovers. Rent it! Buy it! Love it!
on November 4, 2005
Totally absent of any DVD "extras" but as usual a superior quality movie from Channel 4 in the U.K. Reminds me of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE because of the type of soft ending, but also how the heroes have something that should be preventing them from being together, but doesn't, the relationship is established early on anyway. The lead "charismatic" actor, Jason Flemyng, playing the dancer Tonio, has AIDS and has seen a lover and a best friend both die of AIDS. After this he meets an AIDS therapist, and though they start off on the wrong foot, albeit film's cliche of "meet cute", the therapist pursues the dancer and the dancer quickly succumbs. But these aren't two-dimensional characters, but guys with personal histories and demons which both actors are fully capable of bringing off. These characters come alive as real people, a credit to both actors. Overall the AIDS dilemna is a tiresome one, however the screenplay takes a different approach with this couple because the guys wouldn't have become a couple at all if it wasn't for AIDS being a contributing factor: it's like AIDS is the third lead in the film. One problem with the film I had, the reason it doesn't get 5 stars, is because the pursuit of the dancer by the therapist was so enjoyable, I loved their mutual flirtation, and was saddened when this aspect of the courtship was settled so quickly.
on March 12, 2012
I love this film, and really can not add anything to plot points or performances to what has been said here by other reviewers. But this edition, which I bought, (already having the earlier release of several years ago on Image that presented this film in 1:33 screen aspect ratio), listed a letterbox ratio of 1.85:1 both on the back of the DVD box, and here on Amazon, which is false and incorrect information. The screen aspect ratio on this release is the same as the original release on Image at 1:33, in case anyone else wanted this wonderful film in the way it was seen and presented in the Cinema, and not its square TV pan and scan version - don't waste your money as I did hoping for the letterbox version.
on March 16, 2015
This was a wonderful movie. This story of a man struggling with loss due to the AIDS. He struggles with his dancing and his own health issues. He finds love and never gives up. This is a sad, happy, wonderful, crazy movie.
on December 8, 2007
Jason Flemyng offers us the performance of a lifetime in this film, which is called "Indian Summer" or "Alive and Kicking," depending on what country you live in. Flemyng's portrayal of a ballet dancer stricken by AIDS packs a wallop of a punch... It is a POWERFUL performance.
The story is about how two men who are incredibly different manage to come together, yet there is another story that is more powerful here: The strength required to carry on in the face of an illness that is wiping out everyone around you. This is one of the greatest films made about the AIDS epidemic, and it shows the impact of the disease upon the ballet world of the 80's and 90's. The dance scene near the end of the film is a victorious refusal to succumb to death. Antonio's (Flemyng's) courage and determination to perform the ballet is as inspiring as anything you are ever likely to see in any film. I loved Sher in this film, but I must say: Jason Flemyng's incredible, STRONG, overpowering, and charismatic performance is complete magic. It will make you want to watch it all over again as the closing credits roll...
on December 3, 2002
For some unfortunate reason in the year 2002 people want to believe that Aids is over. That just because to some degree it can be controlled with medication that we've cured it. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Alive and Kicking is a lovely, funny and at times very tender reminder that there are still people out there not only living with Aids,dying of Aids, but also loving despite the limitaion of Aids. It's a realistic look at life, love, and dying. And about excepting that sometimes the body betrays the will.