Candid Cinema

‘Dopesick’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

We are currently living in a time where questioning pharmaceutical companies and the government is a must. Even though their intentions may be appear to be good, there could be underlying motives. These questions have always been prevalent, no matter which decade in America we choose to look at. In the ’90s, when dopamine, or oxycontin became the biggest drug on the market, things seemed to change. In the new series Dopesick we take an in-depth look at how the system was actually working against the doctors and their patients.

The focus is on the opioid addiction in America and how it all started. The first three episodes were released on Disney Star in Canada and have stayed in my mind ever since. The build up and the execution of the opioid crisis in America was really eye-opening and kind of paralleled what we are currently going through with the vaccine debate right now. I found it interesting to see the different perspectives from the lawyers, the pharmaceutical companies, and most importantly the people who blindly became hooked on one of the most dangerous drugs known to man.

It does feel a bit disjointed in the first episode but once it finds its footing and really sticks with certain characters, that’s where it shines. This entire cast, which consists of Michael Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever, Will Poulter, Rosario Dawson, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg all truly shine in their roles. They are completely committed to this story and want to tell it in the most honest way possible. In the first three episodes, Dever, Keaton and Stuhlbarg are the most important pieces of this puzzle and offer three different perspectives. They are the standouts so far and their characters add layers to the crisis.

Dopesick will have you glued to the screen because of detailed this story is. There are so many factors to think about for the opioid epidemic and this series puts it on full display. We dive into the backstories of all parties involved and try to understand their thought process when creating, administering, or taking these drugs. It is one of the most honest and grounded storylines about this subject matter that I’ve seen in a while. It is also very informative and will help many understand how important educating yourself on your government and substance abuse can be.

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