Throughout movie history, we have seen different films tackle the brutal realism of substance abuse and addiction. From the romantic drama When a Man Loves a Woman to the disturbing kaleidoscope of Requiem for a Dream, these films take us on an emotional roller coast that (like a high) leaves us stunned and shaking as one question burns into our brains: what if that was my life? One of the best aspects of films that contain heavy themes about drug abuse is (ultimately) a well-rounded cast of characters. So, when one person becomes the victim of violence and insanity, the message resonates even stronger than it could have. Let’s take a closer look at three movie characters whose drug use ruined their lives.
Rayon (Dallas Buyers Club)
In 2013, director Jean-Marc Vallée brought the gritty true story of rodeo cowboy and drug smuggler Ron Woodruff to the big screen, but Matthew McConaughey (who plays Woodruff) was not the focal point of the film. Ironically, that honor went to a completely fictional character named Rayon (Jared Leto), a transgender woman whom Woodruff employs as a partner in crime. From the first moment she appears on screen, Rayon exudes nothing but pain and misery. Initially, we learn she is suffering from AIDS/HIV and bear witness to her slow descent into cocaine addiction. Doomed by the sneer of social injustice, Rayon ultimately gives in to her addiction and sadness.
Tommy MacKenzie (Trainspotting)
In a way, Trainspotting (1996) provides the perfect example of a good person led down a dark path. In the group of crazed friends in the film, star athlete Tommy MacKenzie (Kevin McKidd) is the everyman who uses drugs to hide from the grim realities life has thrown in his face. After being victimized by a terrible incident, Tommy decides to experiment with heroin to see why his friends love it so much and ultimately becomes an addict. Later, Tommy transforms from a clean-cut, all-star athlete into a burnt-out heroin junkie suffering from HIV. In this sense, Tommy represents the innocent man poisoned by drugs and the naïve experimenter, putting new meaning to the phrase, “One time won’t hurt.”
Caesar Braga (Never Back Down: No Surrender)
Sometimes, drug abuse can transform a good-natured person into a mindless, aggressive monster, as shown in the martial arts film Never Back Down: No Surrender (2016). While he has only 10 to 15 minutes of screen time, the giant MMA fighter Caesar Braga (Nathan Jones) makes his presence and his purpose known to the audience. Throughout his career, Braga has been fed excessive amounts of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and given in to the detrimental side effects, almost losing his human side in the process. At several points in the film, he flies into a violent, uncontrollable rage and needs to be restrained by five smaller men. In a nod to the disturbing realities of athletics, Braga is a symbol of a brutal and (to a degree) tragic publicity stunt staged by cruel, selfish people.
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug addiction and substance abuse troubles today.