Read the title “drugs” as illicit narcotics. That is, nothing that can be bought by people over the age of 18 around the corner from their house, such as cigarettes or alcohol; or at the pharmacy, such as antidepressants and opioids.
The purpose of this list is to showcase films that confront the reality of drug addiction seen as “harsh”, i.e. completely addictive and self-destructive among teenage characters. Before Euphoria, in which Zendaya plays the junkie Rue, other actors tried to make this alert based on real cases.
The works listed below present different perspectives but similar messages. All of the selected feature films are impressive in their job of making people, especially younger ones, think before “I’m just going to try something”. In other words, all projects that treat the subject as comedy are discarded, because the subject is serious today.
Among the films, there are those that marked my own adolescence and others that touched the public in my adult phase, but they are just as impactful as the greatest. Almost all of them are based on real experiences and books that tell in detail about the detox process.
After their breakup, journalist David Sheff (Steve Carrell) struggles to help his meth-addicted son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) get his life back on track. At first, the teenager has good grades, is editor of the school newspaper, is an athlete, has several friends, but he begins to experiment with certain substances and, soon, the urge to ingest more more becomes uncontrollable.
With deaths all around him and the daily fear that the next one will be his son, the father finds no answers to his “boyish” behavior. Compared to the other films on the list, Dear Boy is aseptic. There are no scenes or strong emotions on the surface. He seems to walk in a vicious circle of situations.
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen (Alabama Monroe), the plot is based on a combination of Nic Sheff’s bestselling memoir, Tweak, and his father David’s book, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. (Pretty Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction)
Read more: Review | Querido Menino – Heartwarming Drama About Chemical Addiction From A Father’s Perspective
In the same year as the previous film, the problematic child theme also fell into the hands of Julia Robert and director and screenwriter Peter Hedges (The Odd Life of Timothy Green). Unlike Querido Menino’s monotonous narration, Ben Retorno weaves an air of mystery, suspense, and grief into the protagonist problem experienced by Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird), the director’s son.
The distrust of the mother, the sister, the stepfather, the contempt of the neighbors, the guilt for the death of the ex-girlfriend: all these elements have a cathartic power on the screen in a touching performance of the young actor. Ben returns to the family home on Christmas Eve, however, he was supposed to be in rehab after nearly succumbing to an overdose.
After only a few months, the young man is trying to look better, but every cell in his body is crying out for an opioid, relief. A more exciting plot, but still neat compared to other performances to follow.
Like Timothy and Lucas in the 1990s, 20-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio brings to life poet Jim Carroll’s memoir, published in 1978. Jim’s childhood basketball, friendships and heroin addiction.
To continue to escape reality, he steals, robs and prostitutes himself. Although lacking in conflict and thoughtfulness, young DiCaprio is an excellent performer and is more focused on the moment of getting up than the fall itself. With the help of old neighborhood friend Reggie (Ernie Hudson), the protagonist tries to pick up the pieces and find his sanity.
Starring the late Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish (RoboCop), the film is a love story between Dan and Candy, inspired by the life of writer Luke Davis as a youth in Sydney, Australia. Directed by Neil Armfield, the plot is based on the book Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction and shows the couple’s addiction to heroin, something that unites them physically, but separates them emotionally.
The trip is a whirlwind of sensations with overwhelming moments. For example, love is put aside to make way for the practice of prostitution in order to buy more and more injections of the substance. Additionally, there is a dramatic scene of the birth of a dead fetus due to narcotics.
If one of them manages to stay clean, the other gives in to addiction. Recalling this period of his life, the author and his ex-wife at the time of release reported that the reality was 50,000 times worse than what is presented in the film.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
If previous tales of decadence, depravity and indignity fail to stop anyone from taking drugs, the nightmarish imagery created by Darren Aronofsky (Mother!) will. Requiem for a Dream is extremely intense and the images projected into our minds are indelible.
With mastery, the filmmaker draws a parallel between obsession, desire and narcotics. The rapid rise in desire is therefore proportional to the slight degradation of individuals. Thus, it is one of the most successful films in presenting the distorted feelings of addiction and the wickedness of chemicals in a graphic way.
Each in their own way, Sara (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto) and his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) turn into zombies, maimed and humiliated in order to obtain “the elements” capable of making them hide from your eyes. own desperation. The scene of Marion “dancing” with another girl connected by the anus is hard to erase from the mind, as is the feeling of decrepitude.
Read more: Article | ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and human decadence through the vision of Darren Aronofsky
If there is anyone who is capable of leading you into mental chaos, it is Christiane F. 13 years old, drugged and prostituted is already a classic. Cultivated by the Berlin underground scene of the 1970s/80s and the musical participation of David Bowie, the German film tells a true story based on the memories of the protagonist of the book of the same name.
Directed by Uli Edel, the production does not spare viewers the gruesome details of the world young people fall into inside a nightclub, the sensation of the time. The long journey from that first moment of ecstasy, continued desire, abandonment of home, prostitution, despair, death drive and disconnection from the earthly world.
The scenes of Christiane (Natja Brunckhorst) and her boyfriend Detlef (Thomas Haustein) are raw. Heroin injections into the vein are shocking. One unforgettable scene is a boy in the bathroom injecting himself into a vein in his neck because he had no more veins in his arms and ankles. It gives me goosebumps just remembering it.
Read more: Me, Christiane F., 13, drug addict and prostitute – The classic that SHOCKED the 80s returns to the cinema and proves timeless
Do you know anyone else? Let us know in the comments what other movies keep anyone off drugs.
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