Books and Movies Reviews

The Role of Heroin in the Movie

Drug czar Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas) pretty much sums up this Activity Focus E-Mail for me when he says “It’s hard to fight a war when the enemy is your own family; after he realizes that his 16-year-old daughter Caroline is graduating from recreational drug use to habitual abuse ; a secret that Wakefield;s wife, Barbara, has been keeping from him.I would argue that Caroline was not necessarily the enemy per se, but she could be viewed in this movie as a pawn of Robert Wakefield;s true enemy ; the illegal drug trade.
Now I;m no Roger Ebert, but one aspect of the film that I particularly appreciated was that, while the movie clearly depicts the devastating consequences of Caroline;s deepening addiction (consequences not only for herself but also for her family), director Steven Soderbergh refuses to blatantly condemn any particular character for Caroline;s downfall.In other words, although I believe that the movie firmly establishes that the illegal drug trade is a problem affecting everyone ; and explores a diverse set of characters who are either fighting against drugs or fighting for drugs, either supplying drugs or consuming drugs, etc. ; Soderbergh does not overtly place the blame for Caroline;s addiction on anybody but Caroline.
As well, although the movie follows parallel storylines involving very dissimilar characters with equally dissimilar objectives ; while demonstrating how drugs affect every single one of them on some level or another ; the film does not take an obviously specific political stance with regard to the production, distribution, and consumption of drugs ; thereby avoiding general moral issues relating to addiction.
For example, Caroline evokes a forceful acknowledgment of the wasteful and destructive power of drugs ; she was the third-ranked student in her junior class at an exclusive private high school, yet

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