Inspired by Amanda Wendler and Libby Alexander, Four Good Days captures a clashing relationship between a mother and her drug addict daughter. The story is based upon a Washington Post article, originally written by Eli Saslow. The film spans over a week under which the mother, Deb, shelters her daughter Molly from falling into yet another pit of addiction, after a successful rehab session. Much of the talkative narrative is lifted by Glenn Close’s (mother) captivating performance, but does the film stir any emotions?
‘Four Good Days’ Summary
Molly (Mila Kunis) returns back to her mother’s house, persuading her to help her detox from her long history of heroin addiction. Molly wants to start over, but her mother, Deb (Deb) suspects that her realization could be yet another attempt to steal money to buy heroin. After a bit of hesitation, Deb wears a hard-shell demeanor and admits her daughter into rehab. According to Molly’s medical history, she has relapsed more than 14 times so far, and statistically, she is likely to pierce her veins again.
The doctor suggests an opioid antagonist, a shot that blocks opioids from getting into the abuser’s body. It makes a person immune from getting high. But to get the treatment, Molly needs to have a clean body for at least a week. She had already spent her 3 days in rehab and thus needs four more sober days to save her life.
Deb is certain that if left unchecked, Molly is bound to pick up heroin again. Therefore, to safeguard her daughter, she guards her for 4 days while struggling with constant arguments and Molly’s devastating breakdowns. The film further tracks the mother-daughter relationship, while exploring the reasons for Molly’s substance addiction.
The central theme of the narrative underlines the repercussions of wrong parenting. Molly is a personification of Deb’s failure as a mother. While she tries her best to redeem her past by being around Molly in the present. The effects have already crossed the line. The film tries to squeeze the drama out of flawed Deb but with the power of action vested upon Molly, Deb becomes too dormant and extremely helpless.
Without a doubt, the reality is flooded with instances where people fall prey to circumstances and other people. However, in storytelling, it is an active protagonist that fuels an interesting narrative. For the reasons mentioned, Four Good Days plays out dull. Non-fictional stories are much more life-like but they also minimize the possibilities of dramatic liberties. The film becomes a victim of it.
Glenn Close’s outstanding performance makes an effort to elevate the monotonous narrative, however, after a point, even her character loses all hope. Her situation can be speculated as realistic but not very interesting. Mila Kunis had nothing to offer. The film, in totality, lacks emotional depth. It doesn’t even make an effort to ponder it. It just visits the issue and leaves without any interaction.
2018 film, Beautiful Boy where a father fails to save his drug-addict son, had much more substance and content than Four Good Days. If you are looking for an interesting watch, the former could be an option.
Four Good Days is a 2021 drama film directed by Rodrigo García.
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