Arts and Entertainment
A Bittersweet Tale Of Love And Drugs
Aussie director Neil Armfield’s riveting, druggie film Candy provides an extensive look at drug use gone bad.
The film chronicles the span of a free-spirited couple, Candy (Abbie Cornish) and Dan (Heath Ledger), whose relationship takes a downward spiral as their lives take a back seat to heroin.
Candy epitomizes a junkie’s lifestyle, taking you through “Heaven,” “Earth” and “Hell,” demonstrating that what goes up must come down.
“Heaven” depicts the more jovial scenes of the intoxicating romance between the immensely attractive couple, when love and sanity were abundant and the heroin sparse. We are also introduced to Casper, an addict, professor and occasional substance provider—played by Geoffrey Rush, who stole every scene with his charismatic portrayal of “the father you always wanted.”
You watch as the couple enjoys countless escapades into euphoria, hand-in-hand, in the most daring of places. The illusion of their addictive utopia certainly tempts you, almost luring you into their dangerous world.
Once the film forges into “Earth,” you begin to notice the long-term effects of heroin. Candy and Dan are no longer casual abusers, but fiends, searching for ways to get their hands on the substance. In order to finance their addiction, they begin begging, stealing and hawking everything in sight—including Candy herself. Their freedom, love and life are continually jeopardized as their future is more obscure with every pinch of the needle.
“Hell” extends an invite into the other side of sanity. You can almost feel the resentment spewing off the screen. Candy becomes pregnant, forcing them both to quit their habit, at least temporarily.
By day three of sobriety, the agony inflicted upon the couple makes it almost hard to watch. The itching, kicking, screaming, puking and prominent forms of hatred make the characters realize that enough was enough, ultimately going their separate ways.
If there is anything you take from Candy, it should be that drugs are quite the lucrative business. They not only take your money, but your mind, body and soul as well. In the wise words of Casper himself: “When you can stop, you don’t want to. And when you want to, you can’t.”