|Index||5 reviews in total|
I saw Most High at an LA screening, dreading what looked like a vanity project (written by, starring, directed by Marty Sader, co-written and starring his wife Laura Keys etc.) with a tired subject. Requiem For a Dream anyone? Instead I was overwhelmed by one of the most remarkable debuts I have ever witnessed. The film has an uncanny ability to connect to the heart, stun you and surprise you in its no-holds barred detail of a good soul spinning downward, addicted to doing good and then thrown into a hell of crystal meth addiction. What sets this apart from the rest of the drug genre is its refusal to editorialize and encourage weepy sympathy. Sader actually goes from 230 pounds down to something like 95 pounds over the two year shooting schedule, and the results are nothing short of harrowing.
MOST HIGH is a startlingly powerful debut feature from writer-director-actor Marty Sader, who gained 35 pounds and then lost nearly 100 pounds during a 2-year shoot that resulted in a tour de force performance and simply one of the best films of 2004. We first saw this film at Indiefest in Chicago in August 2004, where it virtually swept the fest's awards. Brilliantly written and acted by Sader and co-writer/co-star Laura Keys, MOST HIGH has all the soul yet none of the pretense of other anti-drug movies like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. But this is no after-school special or "just say no" infomercial. It's a spot-on character study of incredible depth and nuance. Sader's character, reeling from the loss of his father, his girlfriend and his job, could just as easily have fallen into depression instead of drug addiction and spiraled to the same depths. The arrival of Sader is reminiscent of the debut of Steven Soderbergh; he's that kind of talent, plus some, since he also is an actor with formidable chops. Seek out this film and everything that comes afterward from this new, major talent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Sometimes really bad things happen to really good people." I'm not sure where I heard this phrase for the first time but throughout my life I've said it many times. This movie epitomizes that sentiment better than anything I've ever viewed. This movie was raw! It really sucked me in and the acting was so realistic that I felt like a fly-on-the-wall, or a peeping-tom through most of it. Almost impossible to fathom how no drugs were actually used to film the decline of M.Sader. Powerful stuff! The physical, emotional, and mental depletion and total change from beginning of movie was nothing short of remarkable! After the first 20 min. of this movie I thought that I was watching a title other than the one I'd selected, so I paused to check to see that I was really watching a movie about drug abuse! That's how different Mr. Sader (Julius) appeared before his descent into meth addiction! "Sometimes really bad things happen to really good people."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie takes a very personal approach to an epidemic in the US, drug abuse. The main character Julius is a very likable individual that you are immediately interested in and then you see his deterioration before your eyes. Although it was an independent film the acting was top notch and mood of the film is conveyed quite well by way of director's use of cinematic device. The best scene in the film was the bathroom cockroach scene, hand down it summed up the condition of our protagonists situation. A very underrated film, I believe it ranks up there with Requim for a Dream. It is a moving film that the viewer becomes absorbed in until the end.
Hard to follow. Hard to watch. Not worth the time if you do. This is obviously a story written by people who have never been part of this story. This struck me as an artists impression of how to string a series of drug addict stereotypes together, poorly. The characters were paper thin. The plot was tedious and slow. The dialog and narration took away from the thin bit of story that was discernible. If you want to see a movie about chronic weight loss check out The Mechanic. If you want to see a movie about meth addicts check out Spun. If you want to see a shallow, self-indulgent drug fantasy with a very hot leading actress. This is your movie. I can't think of anything good to say about this movie so I'll just stop here. -Jahfre
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