Released on April 10, Netflix’s original film “6 Balloons,” directed by Marja Lewis Ryan, follows the tumultuous story of Katie (Abbi Jacobson) living through her brother Seth’s (Dave Franco) heroin addiction, recovery and relapse.
The movie follows a simple storyline of Katie throwing her boyfriend, Jack (Dawan Owens), a surprise birthday party. When the night of the party rolls around, however, she can’t even make it to the party because of her brother’s most recent withdrawals from heroin.
On the surface, Katie lives an “ideal” life — a loving boyfriend, family and friends. However, she can’t seem to find happiness in these things because of the impact Seth’s addiction has on her life — she has always been her brother’s keeper.
Katie wants to make it back to Jack’s party, with Seth in tow, to show how far her brother has progressed since his addiction. Katie wants Seth to be a good father to his daughter, and she wants to have her brother sober and present in her life.
However, Seth’s addiction interferes with all of these things Katie yearns for — as it seems to have always done.
When Katie first picks up Seth and sees that he is withdrawing from heroin, her first instinct is to take him to detox, like every time before.
But when they arrive at a detox clinic and run into some complications, Katie makes the conscious decision to feed Seth’s addiction rather than try to fix it, because that seems to be the easier route in that moment.
Katie has to ultimately decide whether or not to continue to “take care” of her brother by either getting him
medical help or feeding his addiction, or to, for the first time ever, remove herself from the situation like Jack encourages her to do.
She must decide whether or not she is going to let her brother, who is at rock bottom, drag her down with him.Throughout the movie, Jacobson’s portrayal of Katiei s not that of a happy person, which could be an indication of how much Seth affects her life.
A far cry from Jacobson’s other, most notable role in “Broad City,” this film showcases Jacobson’s full range as an actress, showing that she can do more than just comedy.
The rawness of “6 Balloons” makes it for mature audiences only, showing the full scope of what living with an addict can amount to.
Seth’s daughter “tagging” along while Katie purchased heroin for him in a bad neighborhood added to the melancholic tone of the film.
I appreciate the movie’s overall message of deciding who is most important to take care of: you or a loved one.
I would recommend this movie for the message and the realism alone. But the transformative roles the actors underwent to make this film add to its credibility as well.
“6 Balloons” is now streaming on Netflix and is rated R for language and thematic elements.
Photo from ComingSoon.net.