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Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky's controversial and critically acclaimed 2000 film adaptation of Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel.

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So more than just another 'drug movie'

  • Jun 29, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+5
Remember the anti-drug commercial where a girl points to an egg, says, "this is your brain," and then screams, "this is your brain on drugs!" as she smashes the egg with a skillet and proceeds to demolish the entire kitchen, screaming, "and this is what drugs do to your family, this is what they do to your future..." and so on? We'll this story does give you that indication but it's so much more.

After watching this I thought it was the most harrowing, unsettling, and yet utterly compelling film dealing with the issue of drug use, and the effects it has on those involved I have ever seen. This is, and I state for the record, in no way glorifying, sensationalizing, or condoning drug use in any way. Took me ages to finally see this flick but thankfully it's been recommended to me base on my experience with Aronofsky's recent film "The Fountain."

It has a brilliant ensemble cast. Ellen Burnstyn had my heart by the end as I watched her truly sweet and charming character of Sara Goldfarb slowly deteriorate because of an addiction. I cannot believe she was denied an Oscar for this role, because it's among the best on-screen performances I've ever seen. It would be a crime in my mind to not commend Jared Leto on his performance. The job he does in the film seems to be quite underrated, but his role as Harry Goldfarb came out as my favorite character. His acting is superb in all senses, and its clear to me that his research into the role paid off. Big time. Because he's put me off drugs of all forms with his depiction of an addict. Jennifer Connely could've very easily made her character of Marion Silver a melodramatic, difficult to watch hunk of ....., but thank the good lord she didn't. It takes a great actor to walk the fine line between real and fake, and she does it so wonderfully well. She may have been playing a supporting role, but it never seemed that way to me. Her performance will stay with me for a long time to come. Marlon Wayans was also amazing in his performance and the fact that he managed to make me remember his character of Tyrone C Love says a lot.

The directing is nothing short of amazing. Darren Aronofsky creates an excellent mood, making great use of cameras mounted to the actors, hallucination sequences, split camera shots and shows he his artistic sense in a brilliant montage at the end of the film, which was one of my highlights, and the score is beautiful, and makes the mood even more hostile at times. All up, "Requiem For A Dream" is not for the squeamish or faint of heart, but it's a film that everyone should see at some time in their lives. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you may never see another film that leaves you more scared, shocked and affected mentally than "Requiem For A Dream." O by the way Mr. Aronofsky I'm your friend again.

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More Requiem for a Dream reviews
review by . January 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" asks the question: what is a drug? After watching this film, I just don't know how to provide a proper answer. Such an intense experience leaves you feeling drained; and I've been finding that a lot lately with Aronofsky's films in particular. Don't worry; it's a good kind of drained that I'm feeling; the kind you get from staring too much at too many things. "Requiem" has so much going on that it's almost overwhelming, …
Quick Tip by . May 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I can see what all the fuss is about, and why this movie still gets talked about more than a decade after its release.  Aronofsky pulls out all the stops, and this is one of the most relentlessly directed movies I've seen in a long time.   It's effective, but in a weird, kind of converse way.   Addiction looks terrible, yes, but getting a haircut would look pretty hellish if Aronofsky filmed and cut it the way he did the final twenty minutes of this film.  It made me …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
Schools should drop the D.A.R.E. program and just show this film to fifth-graders. They'd never do drugs.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the most terrifying and provacative stories I have seen about the destructive power of addiction, and the many forms that that can take when we give ourselves over to pleasure and abandon purpose.
Quick Tip by . June 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
An absolute masterpiece of the modern cinema, Darren Aronofsky's dark meditation on themes of addiction, desperation, and self-destruction is one of the most important films of the new millennium. A brilliantly directed and acted film with an incredible score by Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Shows how addictions can appear in many different ways, and how it can affect your life. Such an amazing and powerful film.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Wow. Powerful. Disturbing. And proved Marlon Wayan can do more than just crappy movies w/ his brothers.
Quick Tip by . January 21, 2010
posted in Screen Gems
A stark film that looks deep into the human psyche and really shows the downward spiral of addiction with an unflinching eye. Terrific film!
review by . November 13, 2008
Requiem For A Dream
Requiem is one of those little known movies, quietly powerful, that will leave you reeling with emotion in its wake. Even unfeeling husks like myself will not escape unscathed.     This is a beautifully mastered film about drug addiction, but not in standard, drugs-are-bad format. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) is a junkie who dreams of being a better person but still regularly hawks his mother's battered TV set for fix money. He and his friend Tyrone Love (Marlon Wayans) and girlfriend …
review by . December 17, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Performances, cinematic style, and story line despite the mood      Cons: None for me, but the very bleak nature of it will turn many off      The Bottom Line: There are films with unpleasant things to say but that need saying. Requiem should be near the top of this imaginary list.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.      There have been more than a hundred reviews …
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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Wiki

Employing shock techniques and sound design in a relentless sensory assault,Requiem for a Dreamis about nothing less than the systematic destruction of hope. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., and adapted by Selby and director Darren Aronofsky, this is undoubtedly one of the most effective films ever made about the experience of drug addiction (both euphoric and nightmarish), and few would deny that Aronofsky, in following his breakthrough filmPi, has pushed the medium to a disturbing extreme, thrusting conventional narrative into a panic zone of traumatized psyches and bodies pushed to the furthest boundaries of chemical tolerance. It's too easy to call this a cautionary tale; it's a guided tour through hell, with Aronofsky as our bold and ruthless host.

The film focuses on a quartet of doomed souls, but it's Ellen Burstyn--in a raw and bravely triumphant performance--who most desperately embodies the downward spiral of drug abuse. As lonely widow Sara Goldfarb, she invests all of her dreams in an absurd self-help TV game show, jolting her bloodstream with diet pills and coffee while her son Harry (Jared Leto) shoots heroin with his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and slumming girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly). They're careening toward madness at varying speeds, and Aronofsky tracks this gloomy process by endlessly repeating the imagery of their deadly routines. Tormented by her dietary regime, Sara even imagines a carnivorous refrigerator in one...

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Details

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 6, 2000
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 42min
Studio: Artisan Entertainment
First to Review
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