Beautiful Boy review - When super sensitivity leads to unknowing segregation

Beautiful Boy review - When super sensitivity leads to unknowing segregation

In India, when children reach their doorstep beyond curfew, there’s usually mayhem at home. Let’s not even begin with the excessive amount of beatings and moral policing, if they ever found out that their children were out all-night doing drugs. The Sheff family seems surprisingly calm that their son has gone missing. Yes, they called 911, but find any records of his existence. Beautiful Boy is tasteful, sensitive and targets the tragedy and not the human being entangled in it. It narrates the harrowing tale of freelance journalist David Sheff and his struggle to help his son Nic, fight the crystal meth addiction. (Isn’t it funny that Amazon released Beautiful Boy, an original film about a boy’s addiction to crystal meth when Netflix released El Camino, a film based on Breaking Bad, where Walter White plays a role in making and selling pure crystal meth.) Steve Carell plays David and Timothee Chalamet plays Nic, remain honest in their performances, but the film overall seems to lack the tension which is usually expected in a film that’s based on concerned parents, trying to get their children to fight their addiction towards drugs. As much as we all want to appreciate the efforts of the cast members, we pause at the major flaw. Director Felix Van Groeningen makes drug problem appear as a white people problem, and to an extent, it takes the form of a first-world issue. Neither are family problems. White children are not the only ones who face social issues such as addressing separated parents. The class, caste, race does not exempt one from drug problems. In Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr confessed about his addiction to drugs and came clean enough to become the iconic Iron Man, in India too we have had various celebrities such as Sanjay Dutt, Prateik Babbar, Manisha Koirala who opened up about their addiction to drugs and later advised their fan against it. There have been several reports of young people from Punjab being addicted to drug-trafficking. Hence the problem is much deeper. The pace is slow and the lacks the darkness that’s expected from it. It’s more of a troubled father-son relationship which is why it becomes more personal than general. Rating: 3/5


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