Director: David Yates | Script: Well Tower| Cast: Chris Evans (Pete Brenner), Emily Blunt (Liza Drake), Catherine O’Hara (Jackie), Chloe Coleman (Phoebe Drake), Andy Garcia (Dr. Neel) ea | Time to play: 124 minutes | Year: 2023
For the first time, a pharmaceutical company CEO has been arrested for his contribution to the opioid crisis that is spiraling out of control in the United States. That is a story that deserves to be told. Pain scammers However, it doesn’t offer much that’s fascinating in that regard, relying primarily on Emily Blunt’s performance in the title role.
Blunt plays Liza Drake, a single mother with a sick daughter and financial problems. Drake is a fictional person, although the story about a drug that was sold through illegal means and caused many deaths is based on reality. She is based in part on real addictive pill sellers.
Drake, in desperation, fluctuates between quitting her job because she knows it is immoral and continuing because she has no other option given her circumstances. Her ex has taken away her business, her sick daughter may need surgery, and her mother and sister make things even more complicated.
A lot of attention is paid to all this, but not enough. When Blunt goes all out when Drake’s mother accuses her of making his life harder, she invites him to want to know more about her. The rather simple ending, with a perfunctory personal monologue from Drake, also lacks a strong conclusion and leaves much to be desired.
Blunt carries the dramatic part of the film. Meanwhile, Andy Garcia adds humor with his Howard Hughes-esque portrayal of the eccentric Alex Peel. He is also a fictional character, loosely based on John Kapoor, CEO of the pharmaceutical company Insys, who is the inspiration for Pain scammers formed. Kapoor sold the drug Subsys, called Lonafin in the film, using methods that started out as unethical and became completely illegal.
Apparently bribing doctors to prescribe medication is still technically allowed. But when bribery extends to recommending the same pills to patients who don’t need them at all, the law is unforgiving. A drug for patients with terminal cancer is not a prescription pill for a headache.
Liza Drake knows it too. When everything collapses like a house of cards, this inspiring fictional character dares to face his mistakes with courage and dignity and bear the consequences. I hope it inspires Pain scammers the real Liza Drakes of the world also rise up against the pharmaceutical giants. With the promise of being played by an actress like Emily Blunt in the film adaptation of her life story.
Pain scammers can be seen in Netflix.