Prescription Drug Addiction
Bobby (Dylan Baker), Mia (Cheryl Hines) and their daughter Olivia (Dakota Fanning) were like family to him so when he walked away from a car crash which saw Bobby and Mia killed it hit millionaire philanthropist 'Franny' Francis L. Watts (Richard Gere - The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) very hard. It led to him becoming a semi recluse, venturing out from his home only to visit the children's hospital he finances and then spending the rest of the time trying to blot out the emotional pain through strong prescription medication and alcohol as well as some recreational drug taking. So when Olivia gets in touch five years later having married Luke (Theo James), a doctor, and with news that she is expecting their baby, it leads to Franny becoming involved in their lives by trying to shower them with gifts only for his prescription drug addiction to become apparent to all.
I confess that I have been on prescription pain relief for 10 years since my back problems started, but I thank God that I am in control of their use because come the time every 4 weeks when my prescription is due for renewal I still have plenty left. I am not singing my praises here but there are those who do end becoming addicted to prescription drugs and that is what "The Benefactor" is all about, Franny who is wealthy and respected in society but is addicted to prescription drugs as he tries to blot out the emotional pain and guilt he feels over the death of his best friends. As such when events in this movie see him without his medication he starts to suffer withdrawal symptoms, which in turn leads to him desperately doing anything he can to try and get more.
That is what you get in "The Benefactor" a movie about prescription drug addiction and it shows that those who end up dealing with prescription drug addiction, no matter how respected and wealthy they are, still will go through the same problems as those addicted to illegal drugs. As such whilst "The Benefactor" uses the other characters in the story this is almost a one man show as Richard Gere as Franny takes us on this journey from seeing his personality change when he takes his medication becoming full of life and a little eccentric to him scrabbling around on the floor trying to find a damp spot where he poured medication on to the floor. Look what you get in "The Benefactor" isn't anything new as we also see his desperate attempts to get his medication, including self harm, but it is a highly effective look at what for many years has been "hidden drug addiction".
What this all boils down to is that "The Benefactor" is a movie which is current as the issues of prescription drug addiction becomes big news. But it is worth watching if only for the strong performance of Richard Gere who effectively takes us on the journey of a man who took medication to blot out emotional pain only to end up with the pains of an addict.