Review: Addiction drama ‘Four Good Days’ turns away from the ugliness at a crucial minute

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Before the coronavirus pandemic raged through the United States, the opioid epidemic seized the nation, continuing to quietly churn in the background of COVID-19. Estimations show that nearly 90, 000 United states lives were lost to opioid overdose deaths within 2020 . Despite the attentions elsewhere, this preexisting condition didn’t go away during the pandemic, as many of our existing co-morbidities were exacerbated or even revealed during this time.

Rodrigo Garcia’s film “Four Great Days” offers an intimate portrait of the agony of opioid addiction, depicting the gut-wrenching chronic pain that is loving an addict. The film is based on a 2016 Wa Post article by Eli Saslow, who collaborated in the script with Garcia. Within Saslow’s article, a Michigan mother, Libby, wrestled with the recovery of her addict daughter Amanda, ravaged simply by heroin for a decade. Wish arrives in the form of a shot, an “opioid antagonist” that blocks the high of opioids, offering users an “immunity” of sorts. One could think of this like a vaccine for opioid addiction, rendering the drug useless in the user’s bloodstream.

In Garcia’s film, Alexandra and Libby are now Molly ( Mila Kunis ) and Deb ( Glenn Close ). When Molly arrives upon Deb’s doorstep, jonesing, eager, skin pockmarked, teeth decaying, Deb is loath to let her in right after years of theft, lies and broken promises. The persistent Molly spends the night to the stoop, and in the early morning, Deb offers her the only praise she can muster, saying Molly herself could be the only thing more persistent than heroin. It’s the one thing that gives her hope.

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After three days of harrowing detox, Molly is offered the particular shot to block the girl body’s response to opiates, even though she needs to wait 4 more days for the heroin to leave her system in order to safely receive it. Four days is nothing, right? After 10 years associated with sustained addiction, it might as well be a year. And so mother and daughter settle in to white knuckle four times without drugs.

The four days turn into a time to reckon with the past: with Molly’s dark deeds, and with her own children; along with Molly and Deb’s romantic relationship, fractured by Deb’s own marriage problems and the fateful prescription for pain medicine that led a young Molly down the path of destruction. The script lays uncovered every issue, leaving no feeling or thought or even past transgression unspoken, as Molly and Deb perform the blame game plus wallow in their own shame, unwilling to trust one another or themselves.

In this cinematic version, the stakes are heightened, the particular melodrama ratcheted up much further than the haunting and spare tone of the primary Washington Post piece. Near and Kunis take it to emotionally and aurally operatic heights, as Molly weaponizes her rage to manipulate her mother, and Deb’s meticulously controlled boundaries erode in to sheer panic and impulse.

“Four Great Days” is a portrait associated with addiction that wants to jump into the ugliest parts: the detox, the physical damage, the flop houses, those things Molly did for drugs. But , despite Kunis’ haggard appearance, “Four Good Days” only flirts with ugly, pulling away from the most vile details in the last moments. Although this agonizing weeklong ordeal reaches a shrill orgasm, the denouement feels hurried, opaque, leaving us only with more questions. Perhaps looking for answers isn’t the right way to recuperation, but after such a verbose and revealing journey, seems strange for Molly plus Deb to suddenly proceed quiet.

Katie Walsh is a Tribune News Service film critic.

‘Four Good Days’

Rated: R, for drug content material, language throughout and brief sexuality

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Playing: Starts April 30 in general release where theaters are open