6 Balloons: A Review
April Potack (Sophomore)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars!
Netflix has released the newest movie “6 Balloons” last month which was directed by Marja Ryan-Lewis and depicts the harsh reality of drug addiction and the toll it has on everyone else. It follows the story of Katie and her heroin addict brother Seth. “6 Balloons” will leave you sick with emotion and have you yearning for a happy ending for the protagonists.
Anyone who has witnessed the deterioration of a loved one because of addiction will relate immensely with Katie (Abbi Jacobson) who is tasked with driving Seth to a detox center and taking care of his infant daughter. Seth (Dave Franco) battles with his addiction and hopes to be rid of this burden in order to care for his daughter. The trip to the detox center takes them all across Los Angeles.
“6 Balloons” was a decent film overall with its moments of brilliance. It handles the topic of drug addiction with care and realistically depicts the horrors and trauma experienced by everyone involved in this situation. The sickening angles and lingering shots of drug use and Seth’s withdrawal leave you with a sense of panic, helplessness, and disgust.
The chemistry between Jacobson and Franco is outstanding. They bicker and fight, but the genuine love they feel for each other as siblings is apparent. At times it’s like you’re watching two siblings interact rather than two actors simply pretending to be related. Jacobson reflects the irritation and exhaustion of her character brilliantly while also putting up a front of acceptance and happiness. Franco’s performance as a addict is spot on and scarily realistic, though his appearance could’ve been changed more to resemble a long time heroin addict and not a slightly troubled sweaty guy, but that sounds like wishful thinking.
However, “6 Balloons” does have its pitfalls. The narrative seemed to drag or move slowly. Minor characters acted dead and lazily, their actions slow and words terribly slow or devoid of emotion. Characters faded into obscurity and weren’t memorable at all. They moved the plot along very slowly and some were not relevant to the story, case in point Seth’s daughter Ella who was a annoyance to other characters and me.
The idea of “6 Balloons” is simply too dull to actually be entertaining for an hour and it is an idea that I have seen done better. The film wasn’t nearly as interesting as it could have been and I found myself growing bored of it when I only watched a quarter of the film. The writers of “6 Balloons” should have focused on including a more action heavy plot with much quicker pacing and a plot that involves a little more than driving somewhere to find a detox center. That or simply made this film into a character study of Katie and Seth with a much more relatable story.
Overall, “6 Balloons” was a average Netflix original film that tried to add more emotion to a familiar plot and ended up failing in some regard. Jacobson and Franco’s performances were brilliant, but ultimately wasted in a film with such horribly slow pacing. The depiction of drug use is realistic and brutal, not for the faint of heart and I must applaud “6 Balloons” for that. I would recommend watching “6 Balloons” on a rainy night or a boring night and if you can tolerate graphic language, drug use, and fecal matter. To me “6 Balloons” wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was impressive for a Netflix original film.