Candy – DVD Review

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Neil Armfield


Abbie Cornish Candy
Heath Ledger Dan
Geoffrey Rush Casper

DVD Release Date: March 27, 2008
Rating: R
Running Time: 108 Minutes

The Movie

Candy and Dan are two young kids who are so deeply in love that even though they’ve been together for some time, that early spark is still there. They love each other’s company. They enjoy kissing for no real reason whatsoever and don’t care who is around to witness it. At any time during the day, they could end up stripping each other’s clothes off for a passionate round of love making. They share everything they do and that includes their addiction to heroine.

By any means necessary, they will get their drugs and feed their addiction. It doesn’t matter if they have one another because all they care about are finding ways to get some cash and scoring some heroine to get their high. And some of their methods prove that “by any means necessary” reflects exactly what it implies. They originally try to “borrow” the money although that would mean paying it back which they have no real intention of doing. There are other methods though and when desperation sets in, anything is doable.

Dan first tries his hand at being a common thief and sticking up a man in the park to take his wallet. Through some guilt and bumbling, that doesn’t go quite as planned. But it is obvious then any feelings of guilt quickly leave our two addicts when Candy ends up resorting to selling herself for small amounts of money. All this happens while Dan simply waits in the car outside to drive her home afterwards. It is obvious he feels bad, but when the cash rolls in to get their heroine, all remorse is gone. Their steep plummet continues until they no longer have what they need to survive and that isn’t the heroine, it’s each other.

Candy is by far a tragic love story in which the old adage of “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone,” rings so true. Dan and Candy’s life goes from being on top of the world with one another to suffering together to caring less about one another because of the heroine to realizing they’ve lost everything. It’s a bit of a hectic journey, but an insightful one since it seemed so realistic. Never having any kind of drug addiction but seeing numerous documentaries on them, both Ledger and Cornish appear to be the perfect drug heads. Complete with slurred speech, glassy eyes, mood swings, and tweaks.

Geoffrey Rush’s performance is one of the best parts of the film even though it is very limited. Being a friend of the couple, he always seems to be willing to help them out in their time of need even if he has a young Philipino boy waiting on the other side of the room for him. He tries to be very sincere at times and it’s almost as if he is subtly trying to help them instead of feed their addictions, but they just won’t listen.

Overall Candy is a rush into the world of drug addiction as it brings a couple closer together and also tears them apart. No matter how many times you may hear it or see it though, it truly is hard to imagine anyone lowering themselves to do the things needed to get their fix. Degrading their bodies, shooting down all standards and morals, and destroying their souls simply for a momentary feeling of euphoria. Still, I can’t judge because never experiencing the intense need for something so badly has never been a part of my life. But it is images like those seen in Candy that will make things stay that way.

The Video

The film is shown in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen format and looks very good. The colors are extremely bright and stand out nicely when seeing some of Candy’s paintings and showing the couple’s happier moments. The night scenes and more depressing, or disturbing even, times are shown a bit darker colored and also look very good.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and comes through alright for the most part except there is a bit of a problem with hearing the dialogue at times. Some of the thicker accents are not always easy to understand and when there is narration, it seems to be at a very low level. A very sharp musical score makes for both fun and desperate feelings to the film respectively.

Special Features

Candy: The Path To Wild Abandon – This is your “making of” featurette and almost everyone involved with the film give their thoughts on what Candy is about and what kind of emotional story it is actually trying to tell. The intensity between young love in a relationship and their love with drugs. In an interesting note, I never noticed it before but author Luke Davies (the film is based on his novel “Candy”) let it be known that overt drug use is not seen in the film but simply insinuated and implied.

Writing On The Wall: Candy‘s Poem In Motion – Parts of Candy’s poem are taken to a whole new extreme in this feature. The words appear on screen as scenes from the film appear behind it and it is read aloud by Abbie Cornish. With the musical score gently playing in the background, it makes for a very intense and emotional two and a half minutes. Very short, but extremely intriguing.

Audio Commentary – Director Neil Armfield and author Luke Davies get together to discuss the film from creator of the film to creator of the story. They give some absolutely wonderful insight into the story and Davies actually shares a lot of his own personal experiences as they pertain to what happened on screen. This includes an intriguing look inside that of drug addiction from Davies. It is really a nice mixture of the feeling behind the story (Davies) and how the film came together as a whole (Armfield) to make an intensified love story.

Theatrical Trailer

TrailersThe King and Off The Black

The Inside Pulse

Candy is a film that delivers some disturbing scenes without actually showing much but simply implying them. In some ways that actually hits home emotional-wise more so then seeing what is truly going on. It really is a bit of a heart twister watching the film but it also enlightens and is enjoyable to watch in a depressing sort of way. Besides the audio commentary, the special features don’t add very much to the DVD, but that commentary track must be heard to get all the deeper meanings behind the film. Almost worthy of a buy right off the bat, but I’m going to recommend a rental because drug films are not always everyone’s cup of tea. Even if it is laced with speed.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Candy
(OUT OF 10)