PURE

Just Say No

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 10, 2005

Starring: Molly Parker, Harry Eden,
Keira Knightley and David
Wenham

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 96 minutes

Distributor: Indican Pictures

Director: Gillies MacKinnon

Executive Producer: Robert Bevan, Keith Hayley and
Amanda Coombes

Producer: Howard Burch

Writer: Allison Humes

Address Comments To:

Indican Pictures
8424A Santa Monica Blvd., #752
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 650-0832
Fax: (323) 650-6832
Website: www.indicanpictures.com

Content:

(HH, A, DDD, LL, M, S, V) Strong humanist worldview about a boy helping his mother fight drug abuse; includes about 24 obscenities (many obscured by the thick British accent) and a couple of profanities; violence includes fighting, man hit in head with a brick, and woman dying from drug use; sexual content includes several women portrayed as prostitutes, (but no explicit nudity or activity), one character is pregnant out of wedlock, boy gropes woman’s breast through her clothes, boy shown sleeping in bed with woman (both clothed), and boy boasts as if it were a sexual conquest; no nudity; some drinking and smoking, but many scenes of explicit illegal drug use includes characters using syringes, sniffing drugs, and young boy gets high; and, shoplifting and stealing to buy drugs, boy skips school to care for mom or play with friends, themes of disobedience, selfishness and drug abuse (though rebuked), and problems resolved through love and determination with no reference to God or spiritual issues.

Summary:

PURE is a 10-year-old’s perspective about drug addiction, dealers and death in East London. The story wisely shows the dangers and tragedies associated with a drug-filled lifestyle, but it craters when it irresponsibly portrays Paul trying drugs so that he can know how to help his mom kick her heroin habit. If you are invited to see PURE, just say no.

Review:

PURE is a 10-year-old’s perspective about drug addiction, dealers and death in East London. Young Paul (Harry Eden) is determined to help his junkie mom, Mel (Molly Parker), kick her habit and keep their tiny family together. After the death of Paul’s father, Mel copes with the loss and masks her pain by using heroin. Paul, the oldest of two brothers, prepares his mom’s “fix” in the morning, believing it is medicine to make her well. The story follows his street-education and understanding of her addiction, even to the point where he uses the drug to relate to Mel’s craving.

Paul witnesses the death of a fellow-junkie friend of Mel’s and is quickly saddled with caring for the dead woman’s young daughter. His mother is so selfishly absorbed in her own problems that she, against Paul’s warnings, gives away the young orphan girl to a complete stranger on a bus.

Paul fears that Mel will do the same to him and his little brother one day, so he determines to help his mom kick her addiction by bringing her pusher to justice with the assistance of a local police detective.

Meanwhile, Paul’s friendship with an older teenager (Keira Knightley) qualifies as a completely unnecessary subplot to the family story. Paul’s infatuation with this older woman (who is pregnant by the drug dealer) leads him to grope her breast through her sweater. Later, he boasts to a school friend about spending the night there and sharing her bed, though nothing actually happened. Is PURE arguing that Paul is more mature than most 10-year-olds because of his mother’s addiction? Or, is this an insight to the rapidly deteriorating youth culture in London today?

Ultimately, PURE wisely shows the dangers and tragedies associated with a drug-filled lifestyle, but it craters when it irresponsibly has young Paul trying drugs so that he can know how to help his mom kick her habit. It also attempts to show how “latchkey” kids seem to cope without supervision, especially children of parents who are criminally negligent due to drug use. Paul cooks, cleans and cares for the younger children, foregoing his own childhood to act as surrogate parent.

Most disappointing, however, is the way PURE neatly wraps up its plot. It seems particularly contrived and too delightful to end in such an upbeat way. It nearly negates the serious message it was trying to make throughout its anti-drugs story. Sadly, God is entirely absent from the entire story. There is no praying, no religious characters, no real morality except the importance of family.

If you are invited to see PURE, just say no.

In Brief:

PURE is a 10-year-old’s perspective about drug addiction, dealers and death in London. Young Paul (Harry Eden) is determined to help his junkie mom, Mel (Molly Parker), kick her habit and keep their tiny family together. The story follows his street-education and understanding of her heroin addiction, even to the point where he uses the drug to relate to Mel’s craving.

Ultimately, PURE wisely shows the dangers and tragedies associated with a drug-filled lifestyle, but it craters when it irresponsibly has young Paul trying drugs so that he can know how to help his mom kick her habit. It also addresses “latchkey” children coping without supervision, especially children of parents who are criminally-negligent due to drug use. Paul cooks, cleans and cares for the younger children, foregoing his own childhood to act as surrogate parent. Most disappointing is the way PURE neatly wraps up its plot. It seems particularly contrived and too delightful to end in such an upbeat way. It nearly negates the serious message it was trying to make throughout its anti-drugs story. Sadly, God is entirely absent from the entire story. If you are invited to see PURE, just say no.