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  • Is shock therapy really the standard procedure for patients disoriented by drugs? Or was that put in the film just for its horror value? And not disclosing what shock therapy is to a drug-addled patient who is clearly out of her mind? Kind of against standard disclosure procedures. Obviously improper disclosure happens all of the time, but it feels like the writers just put it in to make the movie as brutal as possible.
    • Written in the Seventies.
      • To clarify, the original novel was written in the seventies.
      • Yeah, I later found that out. However, giving no hint it's supposed to be set in another time makes it confusing.
    • Yeah, I didn't buy that at all. I think a few months on speed is too short a time to have any permanent effects from it. It also bugs me that this film presents ECT as something sadistic and brutal when it's actually humane and effective. (In real life she would have been anesthetized.)
      • You're forgetting that, once again, this was written in the seventies; back then, ECT was basically used for everything and the doctors didn't really know how to utilize the technology effectively. Back then ETC usually WAS brutal and sadistic.
  • Why did Tyrone and Harry need to drive all the way down to Florida for heroin? Why did they need to leave NYC at all? Which, by the way, has over 10 million people?
    • Not to mention that much of the heroin in the US comes in to New York and Newark Harbors, the absolute farthest Harry and Tyrone would have to go is across the Hudson bridge and over into Newark.
    • None of their dealers were selling because of the gang war. Plus, IIRC, the prices in NY were getting jacked way up.
      • ALL of the heroin in NYC was being jacked up? Like I said before, there are 10 MILLION people in NYC, and there was that many even in the seventies.
      • If the gang war was big enough, yes, it could be plausible. There seemed to be several very large gangs involved and if people were angry and scared they'd stop selling. And that could be across the whole city. People who were selling would make it exclusive and profit off it by jacking up the prices.
  • Why did the writers choose to make the characters so unsympathetic (outside of simply being drug users)? Harry abuses his loving grandmother in order for his drug fix and later makes the really smart move of shooting up when his arm is beginning to go gangrenous, Marion squanders the opportunities and money given to her by her privileged (albeit unloving - although we don't know for sure) parents and has fantastical dreams of making it big when even people with recognized talent are routinely ignored, and Sara delusionally ignores the advice of her son to stop taking her weight-loss pills.
    • The whole point of the film was the fact that each of the characters had some sort of addiction which caused them to be delusional and ultimately destroy themselves. Even looking past the whole addiction, we see other things tearing apart the protagonists: Harry and Tyron strive to get money an "easier" way by selling drugs instead of getting real jobs. Marion obviously is supposed to have overly fantastic dreams of being a designer (which is a difficult job) that she probably wouldn't be able to achieve. She's also kind of a slacker as shown that Harry is the one who pushes her to try and start a shop instead of waiting for it to fall into her lap. And Sara, I can't believe you missed it since it was pretty obvious, but she loves television. Obsesses over it, wants to be on it so bad. The red dress and the weight loss pills compound her addictions of trying to look good enough to be on it. The whole story is sort of a representation, too, of the seeking of escapism as all of the characters are trying to find ways to avoid life instead of facing it which causes their ultimate demise.
  • In the quick cut scenes when the characters use heroin, their pupil (black hole in the iris) dilates (expands) rapidly; opioids like heroin make your pupils constrict to a pin-point.
    • They dilate very quickly because of the pain of shooting up, afterwards they constrict to a pin-point in the manner that you describe. You have to admire the attention to detail in this movie.
  • Well, at least Harry has the consolation that he's about to become very rich from suing the doctor and prison. Lord, DOCTORS AREN'T ALLOWED TO HAVE PATIENTS ARRESTED (unless they're threatening them.)
    • Didn't the cops arrest Tyrone (who wasn't a patient) for fleeing jurisdiction, and it wouldn't take much of a stretch to implicate Harry, seeing as he's actively helping a criminal flee jurisdiction in addition to the myriad of other crimes he could be implicated with?
  • So Big Tim won't sell his drugs but will trade them for sex? Does he realize that he can use the money made from selling them to buy all the hookers he wants?
    • It could be a power thing; he doesn't want women he can just buy off the street, he wants to control the women who need what he's offering.
    • He seems to be doing well enough for himself as it is, maybe he's just such a rich bastard that he doesn't need to sell drugs.
    • Not that it matters, because the main characters end up running out of money anyway.
    • Big Tim is a pimp, not a drug dealer. He recruits addicts and uses their addiction as leverage to turn them into hookers.
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