Drugs and substance abuse has served as the central theme of many Hollywood movies. Unfortunately, most of the movies tend to glamorize drug and alcohol addiction. Whether we talk of the old era or the modern film industry, drugs and alcohol are portrayed as the ‘in thing’ in most of the movies.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Amidst all those larger-than-life portrayals of fictional drug characters, we have come across some realistic movies that have made people aware of the harms of drug and substance abuse.
These movies have presented the real side of drug and substance abuse on the big screen and at the same time retained their entertainment quotient. Let’s take a look at 5 of these movies-
Requiem for a dream (2000)
Based on a novel, Requiem for a dream is a hard-hitting, brazen and sad portrayal of drug and substance abuse. It’s a story of four individuals and their addiction to harmful drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Living in Coney Islands, the characters depict the ugly side of drug addiction and how it can ruin the lives of people.
One of the most powerful portrayals of drug abuse on the large screen, Trainspotting tells the story of a group of young people who turn to heroin and cocaine in an attempt to escape the pain and drudgery of their day-to-day existence. They end up suffering the negative consequences of drug addiction.
The Boost (1988)
This underrated movie tells the story of a recreational drug user and his descent into drug addiction as he struggles to make a career. Excellent performances and harsh portrayals of drug addiction makes The Boost a must watch movie.
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
This classic movie depicts the problem of alcoholism. The movie tells the story of a couple and their downward spiral into the world of alcoholism. It’s easily one of the best Hollywood movies based on the subject of alcohol addiction.
Gridlock’d tells the story of two friends and their attempts to overcome drug addiction after their best friend overdoses. The movie portrays how excessive bureaucracy creates hindrances when it comes to ending their habit. The movie was inspired by real life experiences.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and Altered State (1980) are two of the other notable movies that have managed to portray the reality of effectively. Without being preachy or boring, these movies have made people aware of the harms associated with drug addiction.
Hollywood has always been on the pulse of identifying societal issues to use as thematic backdrops, such as movies about borderline personality disorder or other mental health conditions like depression and PTSD.
Like addiction movies, there is a built-in audience of people who can relate to these topics because they either suffer from the same conditions as those they see on the big screen, or they know somebody who does. Either way, they will pay to watch them.