Candy Movie Review

It's nice, in a way, to see a film about drug addicts in which, for a time at least, the addicts really seem to be enjoying themselves. So it is for the first segment of Neil Armfield's Candy, appropriately labeled, "Heaven" (later sections take on names of a more fallen nature). The stars in the film's fizzy firmament, Dan and Candy, are played by Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish as just a pair of overgrown kids who can't ever stop with the games, and given their bright and cheery looks -- not to mention an extremely helpful sugar daddy -- why would they want to? As Dan ruefully says in the latter, morose stretches of downward junkie mobility, "We lived on sunlight and candy bars." Who wouldn't want that?When we first join them, Dan and Candy are living the easy life, lounging around their shabby chic apartment and mooning over each other in a blessed-out stupor. They seem to have enough money to do little else, and when they're hard up, there's always the improbably accommodating sugar daddy Casper (a campy but enjoyable Geoffrey Rush), who's always good for a spot of cash or dope. He's a ne'er-do-well and (very) occasional poet of lowly charms who has taken up with the younger Candy, whose bourgeois parents make little secret of their disapproval of the union. The fiction they've chosen to believe is that Dan has corrupted their perfect little girl, even though the film's first scene has her begging a reluctant Dan to show her how to shoot up heroin instead of just sniffing it. It's a sign of the film's intelligence that even though we're never quite meant to root for one or the other of this headstrong pair, it's clear that there's a ugly subcurrent to Candy's perfume-counter blonde breeziness.Things get worse, as they do, and the relationship begins to fray. Increasingly hard up for money, the couple resorts more and more to petty thievery before finally going down the old route of prostitution. One particularly wounding scene has Candy selling herself on a whim to a shop owner for 50 bucks while Dan waits in the car. When she comes back afterwards, their roles have almost instantaneously changed, Candy's sunny disposition severely darkened, while Dan's mellow vibe is transformed into sheer powerlessness, unable to say anything but a weak, "I'm sorry." Ledger's naked vulnerability provides much of what works in the darker segments of the film, proving once again that there's little this sometimes underrated actor isn't capable of.Candy is an Aussie film through and through, starring not just the two eminence graces of the continent's film industry -- Ledger and Rush -- but also one of its newest stars, Cornish, who was such a welcome revelation in Somersault. There's also a certain lack of fuss and appreciation of the natural world that seems to come so strangely easily to Aussie filmmakers. Director Armfield (who has an extensive theater background) coaxes excellent performances from his performers, almost making up for the thinness of the material -- adapted from a novel by Luke Davies. Even if, in the end, Candy has not much new to say about its disaffected junkie lovebirds, it at least understands what it is that puts people like them into this situation. Far too often in film, we see only the aftereffects of addiction, the wasted zombies trying to cop just one more time, and never the hale and hearty beings they once were.I want candy.

Cast & Crew

Director : Neil Armfield

Starring : , , , Tony Martin, Noni Hazlehurst, Tom Budge


Comments

Candy Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 2006

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

5 Seconds Of Summer Earn Record Breaking Debut At No.1 On Billboard 200

Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer have certainly introduced themselves...

5 Seconds Of Summer Earn Record Breaking Debut At No.1 On Billboard 200

Iggy Azalea To Make Film Debut In 'Fast & Furious 7,' Vin Diesel Reveals

One of hip-hop's most popular female artists, Iggy Azalea, is...

Iggy Azalea To Make Film Debut In 'Fast & Furious 7,' Vin Diesel Reveals

Bleachers' 'Strange Desire' - The Five Best Songs

New music from indie-pop superstars Fun. is definitely in the works, considering the multi-platinum band just...

Bleachers' 'Strange Desire' - The Five Best Songs

First Impression - Karen O Premieres First Song From Solo Album

Not many artists have their break-out year after more than a decade...

First Impression - Karen O Premieres First Song From Solo Album

"The Big Bang Theory" Is Hitting Production Delays Over Big Pay Demands From Stars

Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory is mercifully being delayed over...

Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett - Anything Goes

Lady Gaga unveils a studio video of her collaborative new single with Tony Bennett entitled 'Anything Goes'...

Lady Gaga - Anything Goes Video
Advertisement

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series on the box at the moment but that hasn’t...

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

Ray J expresses remorse over his highly publicized sex tape back in 2007 with his self-directed music...

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production

NBC's forthcoming live stage production of 'Peter Pan' has just cast...

 'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production


More recommendations

Advertisement