‘Dopesic’ gives Purdue Pharma and OxyContin broad theatrical treatment

“Empire” Producer Danny Strong did most of the heavy lifting in adapting the book by Beth Massey, writing or coordinating most of the episodes, and directing some, which included star-laden cast and directors such as Barry Levinson and Michael Cuesta. The result is a rich mosaic of OxyContin’s high-stakes marketing, and the way Purdue took advantage of its financial clout to deter regulators and lure doctors into prescribing higher doses with predictable tragic consequences.

It’s a challenging project, trying to focus on individual characters, but also presenting a wider toll in communities, and the frustration of Department of Justice and DEA employees working on parallel tracks, knowing that the drug is addictive but in suppressing those cases are facing one obstacle after another.

Michael Keaton plays a pivotal role as Dr. Samuel Phoenix, a rural physician in a rural Virginia town who was initially reluctant to prescribe OxyContin, but is gradually replaced by a persistent sales representative (Will Poulter). was being won, which eventually experiences its own pain. Discretion between Purdue’s elaborate sales techniques and grand seminars.

Other key players include Kaitlyn Dever as one of Phoenix’s patients, Betsy, who suffers from a mining injury resulting from her growing dependence on the drug; Peter Sarsgaard as Rick Mountcastle, a US attorney leading the case; And as Rosario Dawson DEA agent Bridget Meyer, who keeps running after her superiors and other agencies, some regulators clearly recognize, as she clearly sees, “potential future employer-friendly” value of.

“Dopesic” also takes viewers inside the workings of Purdue and the strange dynamics of the Sackler family, most notably in the role played by Michael Stuhlberg as company head Richard Sackler. Normally a sensationalist actor, Stuhlberg plays Sackler like a mad scientist in a ’40s monster movie—a disturbing (and recurring) misstep in a series that otherwise makes relatively few of them.

Again, Purdue doesn’t need much embellishment to look bad, from executives to sales reps to doctors hiding behind official-sounding names like “Appalachian Pain Foundation” to “win their friendship and their trust.” whatever has to be done”. “To make the mind at ease about the use of the product.

“Dopesic” Has a Perfect Companion in Alex Gibney’s Elaborate HBO Documentary “The Crime of the Century” Take a deep dive into the origins of the pandemic, including Sackler’s videotaped statements and interviews with former employees.

Strong and Company takes a lot longer to develop these characters, spending perhaps a little more time on the conflicts at home, from a strained marriage to Betsy wrestling to her religious parents coming out as gay.

In the end, “Dopesic” dramatizes an overarching story full of pain and corruption and brings it home on the most human levels, in a way that antiseptic headlines often can’t. And this story is worthy of attention in terms of, as Purdue executives might say, whatever it takes.

“Dopesic” premieres October 13 on Hulu.


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