|Two drug addicts are helplessly in love. Question is, which will kill them first - heroin or love?||score
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Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush
Neil Armfield, Luke Davies
Rating / Running Time
MA / 116 minutes
(c) moviereview 2006
ABN 72 775 390 361
Although Candy is a film of three parts, it’s more often one of two. There’s an interesting dichotomy in which the colourful pop-stylings of Armfield’s production toys with the ugly reality of his subject. Heroin addiction is seldom attractive, yet he makes it a possibility. An award-winning cast plunges headlong into a spiral of decay as Heaven, Earth and Hell tell a tale of love’s drug-fuelled abandon. It’s a mixed bag, as enticing and indigestible as the title suggests. Dan and Candy have been seduced by bohemia (he’s a poet, she’s an art student) and play at being grown-ups. Their weakness is a pedestrian taste for excess and love. One of these habits is going to kill them. Question is, which one?
Candy discloses a stream of eye-catching possibilities: unfamiliar locations, a convincing cast, elegant production. Armfield works in conflicting parallels: Dan’s narration is actually that of the film; their squalor is seen by us, not those living it; hope is felt by his characters but made hard for us to witness. Some of which works, a lot doesn’t. Once the story is established Candy takes unusual, often misplaced steps. Dan’s lapse as a hustler is no more convincing than Candy’s theatrical breakdown. While some scenes are steeped in grim reality, others fall clumsily from the literary source (Luke Davies’ novel). As assorted halves begin to divide the film, Candy crumbles to reveal it lacks the wit of Trainspotting, the flair of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or the realism of Little Fish. It’s a disappointing result. What should have been a beguiling vision of wasted opportunity is actually one itself.
// COLIN FRASER