Candy

Amazing but harsh Candy is ‘Trainspotting’ meets ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Opening with a haunting melody and the two lovers on a fairground ride it feels very picturesque and idealistic, but that doesn’t last very long I’m afraid. Mixing poetic voiceovers and montages of the pair involved in each other as the world orbits around them they are so in love and oblivious and addicted. Told in a triptych the first third of the film is called ‘heaven’ and deals with the honeymoon period of the relationship, the second third is called ‘earth’ and deals with the start of the end and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the third is called ‘hell’ and is just that. Candy and Dan are addicted to each other and addicted to heroin. They steal, lie, cheat and wheel and deal, whatever it takes to get the cash they need for the next fix, but when the fixes are few and far between there becomes no limit to how far they will go. Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish are brilliant as the arm spiked lovers who both brood with an intensity that shines out when they are acting being on drugs or the brutal scenes when they are trying to come off them. They are mesmerising to watch and at all times you either hate them for how much they are destroying each other or empathise with them for what they are going through. You can’t help but go through the experience with them because it is so graphic and not unlike the needles gets right under your skin. Geoffrey Rush who plays a strange semi-gay drugged up Uncle Monty type character, who not only supplies but manufactures some of the drugs for the pair and even shoots up with them, is very unnerving as the father figure Dan always wanted but never had. Even the later part of the last third, despite its nature, still holds elements of beauty and I would be surprised if there was a dry eye in the house as the film reaches its climax. If you ever wanted a way to show children the evils of drugs then show them this film, it never glorifies the use of substances and if anything it is garishly honest all the way through, although not an easy watch it is an amazing portrayal of the power that addictions, good or bad, can hold and just how far humans are capable of going for love. This really is a journey into the heart of darkness.

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