Gritty. Raw... two words that immediately come to mind after seeing “.”
The opening scene puts you on the edge of your seat straight away with a vicious street fight. It draws viewers into a world that many have never seen or could even imagine existed – the lives of violent, addiction-driven, street-hardened criminals.
“Oxy-Morons” is an independent film based on the semi-autobiographical story of John Hickey (Danny), a Charlestown native and former Oxycontin dealer. Hickey's character goes from being a low-level thug and drug user to hardcore criminal and drug addict, losing everything along the way. He spins a tragic, brutal tale about how his family, friends, and community become consumed by Oxycontin which, for those not aware, is the brand name for oxycodone--a prescription pain medication that's characterized as being more powerful than heroin.
The film illustrates the viscous, self-perpetuating cycle of violence that can so easily be passed down through generations until someone intervenes. It exposes the dark underbelly of a tight-knit community like Charlestown, the alluring danger of living by “street codes” and the trials of climbing up “the criminal food chain.”
Long-standing, destructive family feuds and crooked law enforcement permeate the plot, blurring of the lines between right and wrong, innocence and guilt... But, as we're warned in the opening narration: “No one in this story is innocent.”
The performances are slightly over the top, although that seems to work (for the most part) given the subject matter. And even though they're basically treated as throwaway collateral, Patty Ross (Danny’s mother) and Mercy Rincon (his girlfriend) convincingly portray damaged, world-weary women getting caught up in the crime-fueled fray.
Whether for effect or due to budgetary constraints, the shaky-camera action scenes can be nauseating, but that also adds to the film's overall atmosphere of frenzied confusion. The story is a little tough to follow in spots, and Boston purists will likely bristle at how the crew ends up in Barnstable (of all places) for a prison stint.
The film might prove tough-going for some: there's extreme violence, graphic sex, people overdosing, and the “F-bomb" is practically a character in and of itself. But ultimately, “Oxy-Morons” accomplishes its goal of exposing issues surrounding the reality of drug-use on the neighborhood level in ways we don't often get to see.
Starring alongside Hickey are Charlestown natives Brendan Brennan (Fruit Loops) and David Burns (Jason). Other local notables in the movie include radio/news personality Michele McPhee and former Bruin Lyndon Byers.
Following this past weekend's Oscars frenzy, if you’re looking for a film in which Boston (especially Charlestown) is once again the main backdrop, check out “Oxy-Morons.” It will run at Revere Showcase Cinema de Lux through mid March. Go to the cinema website for show times: http://www.nationalamusements.com/showtimes/default.asp.
For more information about the film, you can visit:
Official "OxyMorons" website: http://oxy-moronsmovie.com/