I so wanted to love this film. A mother-daughter trauma drama about the daughter fighting off drug addiction. Scenes from the 1990 Shirley MacLaine -Meryl Streep drama Postcards From The Edge where Streep played an alcoholic in a troubled relationship with her formidable mother, played in my mind as I tried to plunge myself into this new avatar of the age-old parent-child melodrama.
Four Good Days is 100 trite minutes of diatribe and discourse and disheveled drama on drug addiction. Forget Postcards From The Edge, not one moment of the drama seemed genuine here. The emotions flow in a stream of stiffened formulistic consciousness. Mom is ruthless. Daughter is Penitent. Mom softens. Daughter Betrays…and so on and so forth.
It’s not as though the director doesn’t try to infuse emotional energy into the central. The truth is, he tries too hard to make the drama real and raw. But the end-result is the raw realism of Bigg Boss where every “real” situation is staged.
The film, blessedly short, starts with Molly (Mila Kunis) showing up at her mother and stepfather’s door shivering and blabbering. Mom Deb(Glenn Glose) shuts the door on her homeless daughter’s face. I wonder if any mother would do that in real life. But hey,this is based on true incidents. So who am I to question the mother’s coldhearted obduracy?
As the drama drags its faltering feet I felt the pressure of the director to re-construct true incidents. I feel this exercise in self-conscious creation has considerably stilted director Rodrigo Garcia’s storytelling propensity. He acts like a schoolboy forced into a tuxedo two sizes too small for him to attend a PTA meeting.
The mood is tense, and not in a good way. We always looked at Glenn Close as the fleamarket version of Meryl Streep. She did come into her own eventually. And she was lauded for her recent performance in The Wife. Here she is splashing in shallow murky waters trying to understand this tormented mother who can’t forgive her daughter or herself for the former’s drug addiction,
Mila Kunis as the junkie daughter is more at home. Comfortable with the simplifications in the plot that enable the drug drama to hyphenate the haze with a sighing candour. The mix of myth and authenticity is just too underpowering. Four Good Days is especially disappointing. You expect so much.All you get is noises of pain, never get to feel the real thing.
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