Netflix’s original movies have earned plenty of notoriety for their outrageous subject-matter, high-profile creators, or bad reviews (sometimes all three at once). So it’s surprising when a traditional indie project is announced that tells a simple story about everyday people.
Netflix released a trailer for 6 Balloons, starring Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson. The new original film starts out like a sweet family drama, but takes a grim, dark turn into heroin addiction. The sequences shown in this trailer are powerful and emotional; Franco in particular gives an intense performance — he apparently lost 20 pounds to look appropriately haggered for this role, according to Business Insider.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Over the course of one night, a woman drives across LA with her heroin addict brother in search of a detox center, with his two year old daughter in tow.”
Franco’s character, Seth, rapidly breaks down as he relapses on heroin while his sister, Katie, tries to get him into treatment while also watching out for Seth’s young daughter. Additionally, Katie struggles to hide Seth’s problem from her friends and family, which appears to take a toll on her. At one point during the trailer they all end up in a car under water, so this film might not have a very happy ending (just FYI).
Franco sacrificed his body and his mind to prepare for this part — inspired by Christian Bale’s commitments to roles over the years — in an interview with Business Insider:
“I was full-on depressed. I remember at one point my wife [actress Alison Brie] saying, ‘You’re not yourself, you’re not fun to be around.’ And I was like, ‘I’m f—ing starving! What do you want from me?’ But on set I also wasn’t fun to be around. I wasn’t really interacting with anyone. I was in the corner by myself, miserable.”
6 Balloons isn’t the kind of original movie that we’ve come to expect from Netflix, but it is the kind of material that makes sense for the platform. A small movie such as this probably wouldn’t get more than a week or two at theaters (on their smallest screens), but it can live on forever-ish on Netflix where it has a chance of being discovered by a much larger audience over time.
Is 6 Balloons the type of original movie you want to see on Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below!
6 Balloons hits Netflix on April 6, 2018.