- 1 hr 38 min
Drunkboat is a film that explores a dysfunctional family and their struggles with addiction and trauma. Donny (Jacob Zachar) is a teenager living in Chicago with his mentally unstable mother, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. His uncle, Darcy (John Malkovich), comes to town unexpectedly, and he and Donnyâs mother hatch a plan to buy an old sailboat and take it to New Orleans to start a new life.
Donny goes along with the plan, hoping that it will give him a chance to reconnect with his absentee father, who lives in New Orleans. Darcy, a charismatic but unreliable alcoholic, promises to make everything work out, despite his obvious problems with addiction.
Along the way, Darcy ropes in his old friend, bartender and recovering alcoholic, Mr. Fletcher (John Goodman), to help them navigate the boat and avoid the cops. However, as they sail down the Mississippi River, it becomes clear that Darcy has no idea what heâs doing, and his drinking only makes things worse.
As tensions rise and the boat becomes increasingly damaged, Donny begins to question whether he made the right decision to go on this trip. He sees the toll that addiction has taken on everyone around him, and he fears for his own future.
Drunkboat is a haunting portrayal of addiction and the damage it can do to families. The film is based on a play by the same name, and it has a raw, stage-like quality that makes the charactersâ pain and desperation feel more immediate. John Malkovich gives a memorable performance as the manipulative Darcy, while Jacob Zachar is a sympathetic and relatable protagonist.
The film is shot mostly on location in Chicago and New Orleans, with some stunning shots of the Mississippi River and the surrounding landscape. The visual style is gritty and realistic, with a washed-out color palette that emphasizes the charactersâ sense of displacement and disconnection.
One of the most notable aspects of Drunkboat is its portrayal of the trauma that often underlies addiction. Donnyâs mother and Darcy both have troubled pasts that have led them to their current state of addiction and desperation. While the film doesnât excuse their behavior, it does show how their pain has influenced their choices and their ability to cope with lifeâs challenges.
At its core, Drunkboat is a film about the ties that bind us, and how difficult it can be to break free from dysfunctional family dynamics. Donny is caught between his loyalty to his mother and his desire to escape her destructive influence. Darcy is trying to reconnect with his past and feel some sense of purpose, even as his drinking threatens to sabotage everything. And Mr. Fletcher is struggling to stay sober and rebuild his life, while being pulled into the chaos of his friendsâ plans.
Overall, Drunkboat is a somber and thought-provoking film that explores some of the most difficult aspects of the human experience. Itâs not an easy watch, but itâs a powerful one, and it offers a sobering reminder of the toll that addiction and trauma can take on individuals and families.
Drunkboat is a 2010 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.7.