Animals – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

A junkie love story which has us watch how far the two will go to find a score.

Trigger Warning(s): Depictions of Drug Use

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

Somewhere in Chicago you’ll find Jude (David Dastmalchian) and Barbara (Kim Shaw). A young couple who look like everyday college students, and yet don’t attend college. At least, not anymore. For with drugs and love fueling their life, it seems nothing else matters but their next score and next chance to cuddle. Leading us on an adventure which deals with one theft, or con, after another, dealing with shady dealers and cops, and us watching as the effects of life and drugs take its toll.

Praise

Undeniably, Shaw and Dastmalchian have good chemistry and bring their characters out of a simple “lovable junkie” type of storyline. For, as they note, there was a time when both of them were quite privileged, going to school, and then somehow things went left. Yet, as we see them con men out of money, you can see there remains a mass bit of intelligence when it comes to manipulating and exploiting people. Take for example them conning a security guard out of $400. Now, not only do they set up a nice little con, dealing with Barbara losing a laptop, and Jude finding it and wanting some of the reward money, but they show that even if they didn’t case the security guard, how perhaps either their college education, or street smarts, has allowed them to survive on their own.

Then, even when you put aside the fun and games, you have two characters who bring a sense of darkness without having to deeply dive into their issues. For never mind they both are junkies, that is firmly established, but their lives before are touched on just enough for you to understand this need to escape which led to their addiction. Be it Barbara’s stepdad who has alienated her from her mother, and maybe is the reason she has chosen drugs, and then there is Jude’s possibly joining her either due to love, or perhaps stress due to school, and slipping into an addiction he never planned for.

Criticism

Really the only issue I could see someone having is the lack of understanding of what turned them from trying out their drug of choice, which I assume is heroin, to them becoming full-blown addicts. For while Barbara talks about her step-dad in a way which makes him seem rape-y, thus providing the idea she needed a substance to escape, I feel like Jude’s reasoning can only be guessed. Though I could have missed something.

Overall: TV Viewing

What keeps this from Worth Seeing is that it isn’t emotionally hard hitting. For while we can see they are junkies and have likely been through something awful, especially Barbara, the majority of the film focuses on their love affair and the pursuit of money to get drugs. Of which, between the awes, and the comedic moments of them fooling people, there is very little reason to take pity, feel empathy, or be anything but entertained. This is despite the health issues mentioned in the film, and you knowing someone out there is worrying about these two.

So, despite there not being any seriously major issues, this is being labeled TV Viewing.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?