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CANDY, 2006
Movie Reviews!

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CANDY,   MOVIE POSTERCANDY, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by: Neil Armfield

Cast: Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Budge
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

A poet falls in love with an art student and their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

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REVIEW:

Candy is organized into three acts: Heaven, Earth and Hell. Each section detailing the tumultuous relationship between two bohemian lovers, Candy (Cornish) and Dan (Ledger), both heroin addicts who are more addicted to each other than the drug. The film explores the ups and down of their relationship but more importantly how the two influence each other has on the others life.

Candy does its best to create an honest of the destructive life heroin can have on its victims, and while at times they hit the right notes, the film tends to fall out of realism and into more conventional territory. The couple fight, bicker, have intense sex, alienate themselves from their loved ones and then somewhere along line after one too many mishaps decide it’s time to stop and get better. That’s not a story, however, it doesn’t really present anything new nor does it shed a light on an area that has explored in any film or documentary on the subject of addiction.

However, what the film does well is show the need both characters have for each other. Their dependency is on par with their addiction to drugs, and the actors do an exceptional job at conveying that notion. From drugs comes love, but if you remove drugs out of the equation, is there still love? It seems like for Dan and Candy, you can’t have one without the other. But anything negative about their relationship, they ignore.

The couple shut out any criticisms targeted at their relationship, including Candy’s disapproving parents who are worried about their daughter changing into another person from hanging out with Dan. But despite the criticism, the couple remains committed to each other and try anyway possible to obtain drugs. They continuously seek money to buy drugs, borrowing from Candy’s parents or Casper (Rush), an eccentric university professor. The couple starts selling things, stealing, and even prostituting when desperate.

Heaven tells the story of their initial romance, rough sex and dependence of drugs. Earth deals with the next step in their relationship: marriage. But desperate for money and facing the realities of life, they both seek jobs with Candy becoming a prostitute and Dan stealing credit cards. Both demoralized but the challenges.

Over time, Candy gets pregnant, but after 23 weeks their baby is delivered still born. Realizing they need to change their ways, they both try to stop doing drugs, going through difficult withdrawals. Their commitment and love for each other however remains strong.

The story, Hell, the couple continues a life of despair but try to assimilate into a normal life and seek treatment in a methadone rehab out of the country. Candy however suffers a serious mental breakdown as she lashes out at her parents. Meanwhile Dan discover their friend, Casper has died from an overdose.

Candy, despite its flaws, is still a gripping and compelling exploration of two addicts who are dependent on each other just as much as they are for drugs. Ledger does an excellent job in his performance, another reminder of how truly talented and remarkable Ledger was, and the potential he had to be one of the greats. Candy may not be as enlightening as “Requiem for a Dream” but it’s still an uncompromising and entertaining exploration of self destruction with strong performances all around.

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