Kyle is a loving partner, brother, and son. He has dreams of having his own interior design company and plans to marry his partner Julian. All Kyle’s plans come to a halt after he is introduced to crystal meth one night. Slowly after, Kyle’s life and everything in it begins spiraling out of control.
Based on true events, Meth Head
is a really eye opening experience. Jane Clark weaves a story about meth addiction without making it solely factual and focuses mostly on the deep emotional character journeys.
Kyle isn’t a man without issues. While he has a job and partner, Kyle is still desperate in seeking his father’s approval, a politician who isn’t supportive of his son’s life. Lukas Haas plays Kyle, the meth addict and main character. Haas gives Kyle some great characteristics which make him vulnerable and sympathetic regardless of the mistakes he makes. It is sometimes painful to watch his meth addicted performance because of the glimpses of normality Haas portrays in the very beginning of the movie. The scenes near the very end are the most heart wrenching of Haas’s portrayal. He is alone and weakening and the actor really delivers the fear and panic without being unnecessarily over the top.
Necar Zadegan plays Maia, the third member of the meth trio. Also an addict, Maia lost her daughter to social services for being an unfit mother and takes care of her grandmother who lives with her. Out of the three of them, Maia seems like the most balanced mentally regardless of her addiction and everything going on in her life. She somehow holds the group together. Zadegan portrays Maia in an almost mature way. Zadegan shows us through her eyes and reactions that she knows she’s making mistakes but continues to use meth because it seems like the only thing keeping her from falling apart. Zadegan really uses her body language to portray Maia’s inner turmoil.
Luke (AKA Dusty) is one of the stand outs in the film. He’s the dealer who initially introduces Kyle to meth. Somehow, there’s a youthful innocence about him. Blake Berris portrays him as an addict who loves the drug but one who never sees his life spiraling so out of control. Dusty’s easy friendship with Kyle is simple and co-dependent. Berris depicts Dusty as a man who doesn’t really have anything left and whose addiction leads him to a very painful place. Berris’s performance is understatedly powerful.
Wilson Cruz plays Julian, Kyle’s partner. Cruz’s portrayal of Julian is one of equal parts patience and frustration. Julian wants the best for Kyle and tries to help, but when things get out of control Julian shies away from pushing too hard for Kyle to see the error of his ways. With only the grim tug of his lips Cruz lets us know how hard Kyle’s meth addiction is on Julian.
The supporting actors (Scott Patterson as Kyle’s father comes to mind specifically) do a great job of adding to the story while letting the focus be on Kyle and his journey through his addiction.
With wonderful portrayals and a well written story, Jane Clark really brings home a powerful message while staying true to the emotional story of the characters. “Meth Head” is a well told and hypnotizing film from start to finish. The journey through addiction is well thought out and extremely realistic. The movie is hard to watch at times only because it takes the characters to very dark and harrowing places.
“Meth Head” is sad and tragic. Writer/director Jane Clark chooses to tell the story in a gritty and blunt manner that serves the purpose of informing and acknowledging the addiction to meth and the people it affects.