In Neil Armfield's CANDY, Heath Ledger (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, TWO HANDS) and Abbie Cornish (A GOOD YEAR, SOMERSAULT) play Dan and Candy, two young bohemians who fall madly in love while shooting heroin together. In the beginning, the couple's days are occupied with making love, shoplifting, and having a strung-out wedding day that ends with a lot of giggling over a couple of Big Macs. Despite Candy's disapproving parents, they cling to each other with a fierceness that shuts out any and all outside criticism. When funds or drugs are low they pop by the house of a pharmacology professor named Casper (Geoffrey Rush), who uses his professional expertise to supply them with pharmaceutical-grade heroin. As the reality of their addiction creeps to the forefront, they must turn to desperate measures to get their fix. Candy becomes a prostitute, and Dan a thief and con man. When Candy discovers she's pregnant, they decide to go cold turkey, but the horrific side effects of withdrawal result in a miscarriage. The two tumble into despair, and opt to move to the country to try methadone treatments. Candy's depression soon blooms into a full-blown nervous breakdown, and as her parents finally usher her into rehab, Dan returns to his friend Casper for comfort, only to find him dead of an overdose.
Heroin abuse--with its soaring highs and inevitable crash--has been well-documented in many films. However, CANDY brings something fresh to the story with its focus on the doomed junkie love affair. Candy and Dan tumble into each other much in the same way they descend into addiction--with a white-hot, desperate need that blinds them to reality. It's a moving, realistic portrait of how that kind of all-encompassing, obsessive love can sometimes be just as powerful as any drug, and just as hard to kick.
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