A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a ... See full summary »
This story is a narration from an Australian man who falls in love with two kinds of Candy: a woman of the same name and heroin. The narrator changes from a smart-aleck to someone trying to find a vein to inject, while Candy changes from an actress, call girl, streetwalker, and then a madwoman. Starting in Sydney, the two eventually end up in Melbourne to go clean, but they fail. This leads them to turn to finding money and heroin, while other posessions and attachments become unimportant. Written by
Despite a couple of good reviews, I approached this film with foreboding. Movies about junkies in love, taken from searing autobiographical first novels are usually not what I would call entertaining, though there have been worthy earlier Australian efforts such as "Winter of Our Dreams" (with Judy Davis and Bryan Brown) and "Monkey Grip" (which starred Noni Hazelhurst and Colin Friels). As "Trainspotting" showed it is possible to be light hearted about drugs and addiction but the storyline here is far from cheering and there is no Hollywood-style happy ending. However it did not turn out as gruesome as I feared it might.
This was partly because of two stunning performances by Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish as the not very happy couple, Dan and Candy. Somehow, Heath got it just right as the shambling, disorganized, would-be poet, who is nonetheless capable of pulling off an effective scam when required. Abbie gave us a beautiful, headstrong and dangerous Candy. Their scenes together are as intense and as convincing as you will get in the movies. They were both well supported by Tony Martin and Nonie Hazlehurst as Candy's parents and Geoffrey Rush as their supplier and friend Casper. Geoffrey Rush is a dangerous actor to use in a supporting role because of his ability to steal scenes, but he produces a wonderfully ambiguous character as a counterpoint to the intensity of the leads.
Caspar makes an interesting remark about drug usage: "When you're on it you don't want to stop, when you want to stop you can't." Artists have particular trouble since they see drugs as feeding creativity. Even so, some people break the habit. I hate to use the term "selfdiscipline" but that and the support of those close to you seem to be crucial factors. Being in love with another addict does not seem to be a great help, for obvious reasons. The Thought Police will be pleased that drug-taking is not glamourised and Dan and Candy's experiences are a mite painful, but the movie does not take a judgmental stance. If we had to have another movie about junkies in love, this is the one.
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