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Plot: Drugs. They consume mind, body and soul. Once you're hooked, you're hooked. Four lives. Four addicts. Four failures. Despite their aspirations of greatness, they succumb to their addictions. Watching the addicts spiral out of control, we bear witness to the dirtiest, ugliest portions of the underworld addicts reside in. It is shocking and eye-opening but demands to be seen by both addicts and non-addicts alike. Runtime: 102 mins Release Date: 26 Oct 2000
This ranks up there as one of the three most powerful movies I have ever seen in my lifetime Full Metal Jacket and Grave of The Fireflies being the other two . This movie shows the brutal honest side of addiction and over-indulgence. Not just drugs, although it heavily shows drug addiction. Also shows how one addiction can lead to another and how damaging it can be for you. I watched this alone, and felt so stunned afterwards, I had to call a friend just to calm my nerves. Seriously, this is a brutal one more time BRUTAL film. The acting is wonderful - Ellyn Burnstyn and Jenniffer Connely <more>
are just wonderful in this movie, and Marlon Wayons was such a shocker in a serious role. Everyone must watch it, for it's entertainment value, and more importantly, it's educational value. But it leaves chills down your spine for it's honesty and unforgiving lessons.
Like being repeatedly punched in the back of the head by Mike Tyson (by Danfish)
It's difficult to know what to say about Requiem For A Dream. I first saw it in the cinema when it was released in England and I have never seen an audience react to a film like this one. The climactic sequence, where the protagonists are effectively destroyed by their addictions, seemed to trigger a bout of heavy breathing in the audience. As it was ending I heard a few people crying. My girlfriend and I didn't say a single word to each other on the bus home.I bought the film on DVD the day it came out, but it took me around six months to watch it again. And only then because a <more>
friend of mine was curious. If anything, the impact was heavier than the first time I watched it and I've vowed never to watch it ever again.Yet I have still awarded a rating of 10 on imdb and would definitely assert that it's one of the three greatest films I have ever seen. Why? The acting is just amazing. Jennifer Connolly gives the best performance of her career not too tricky considering the movies she's been in and remains stunningly beautiful in a haggard sort of a way and noble even when she's roped into a gang bang to fund her heroin habit. Jared Leto annoyed me intensely in Fight Club but he's perfect as hapless junky Harry - forever exuding an air of kindly incompetence that endears him to the audience but that will ultimately destroy him. Marlon Wayans is equally brilliant - wearing a beaming smile for the first half of the film and a compelling look of confusion and betrayal for the rest of it.As for Ellen Burstyn... never has an actress been so unfairly cheated out of an Oscar and I've seen the atrocity that won Marcia Gay Harden that Oscar for . She is just the picture of sadness the whole film through - a heartbreaking example of what loneliness can do to vulnerable people. The scene where she complains to Harry about being old is honestly one of the most tragic things I've ever seen and it makes me want to break down just thinking about it.As such, I can only recommend this incredibly important movie with certain reservations. If your favourite film is 'You've Got Mail' steer well clear. If 'Snow Dogs' has been your most thrilling cinematic experience of this year then put this film back on the shelf. Trust me, it'll save the costs incurred by those expensive therapy sessions.However, if you believe that cinema is an important tool in helping us understand ourselves and that we will only achieve self awareness by plumbing the absolute depths of despair and self-destruction then you must watch Requiem For a Dream.
I just saw Requiem For A Dream and I have to say, I was blown away. Not since 1995's The Basketball Diaries, has a film so accurately portrayed the craving and depravity of a person dealing with or succumbing to addiction. It is a beautifully articulated piece of artwork, intricately presented on a silver platter. Director Darren Aronofsky shines in his brilliant direction and style, in this depiction of the downward spiral of the lives of four people, living with their respective addictions.Jared Leto, gives an excellent, solid performance as Harry Goldfarb, a man living an inch from <more>
his life, always in search of a fix. In an emotional powerhouse of a performance, he proves to audiences that he can shine through in a major role as opposed to previous smaller roles in Fight Club and American Psycho. However, it appears to be a Hollywood in-joke of sorts in that it seems he has a penchant for mutilation or at least the roles he seems to take on seem to have for him. In Fight Club, he had his face rearranged and in American Psycho, his head cut off. In Requiem however, it is the mutilation of his life, his whole character, that takes centerstage, ending in a satisfying climax of gargantuan proportions in which he gives the audience more than their money's worth in his power-packed performance.However, the real star of the film lies in the talent of Ellen Burstyn. Audiences will wonder at her appearance at the beginning of the film, not really knowing if it is, in fact, her. Her performance as a television, sugar and eventually, diet pill-addicted mother of Harry shows that she's still got it after all these years. If you want to make a comparison of her thespian skills throughout the years, watch the revived version of The Exorcist. She can only get better. She takes on the role of Sarah Goldfarb with gusto, never backing down for a second. Totally throwing herself into the role, you tend to forget how she really looks like, given only fleeting moments in the film which suggest her real appearance. I have to say, she's got guts. How many female actresses her age would dare to have a camera strapped to her person as Aronofsky so creatively did , an inch away from her face with a wide angle lens? She definately deserves her Oscar nomination, if not, the Oscar itself, for her tour-de-force performance.The other characters themselves hold their own with the two abovementioned powerhouses. Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans both realistically portray their respective roles as Marion Silver, Harry's girlfriend and rebellious suburbanite chick, who degenerates to prostitution for her fix and Tyrone C. Love, Harry's best friend and fellow pusher. Here, Wayans shows that he can lose his comic edge if needed, to portray a boy trapped in a man's body, just yearning for his mother's approval but seeking it instead, in drugs. Connelly as well, who has been taking on smaller roles and projects over the last few years, is finally given enough room to play with her character and gives a winning performance in Requiem.The cinematography of Matthew Libatique gives total light on the chracterizations of the people in habiting Aronofsky's sick world, from the sliently flickering sick-green flourescents to the exaggerated wide angle shots and the beautifully sad and haunting Coney Island picturesque of the pier which suggests a certain beauty amidst all the sadness and depravity. A Downer Picturesque, as portrayed by the photographs of Robert Frank and the Frank influenced cinematography of Darius Khondji in Seven. In my books, Matthew Libatique has just joined those ranks.Jay Rabinowitz' editing stands out as well, with in-your-face smash title cards emphasising the downward crash of the character's lives through the seasons , as well as the close-up constructions of the drug taking process. The latter sequences, edited so tightly and seamlessly, make the moment so beautiful but so fleeting, as is the case with drugs. The sequences are almost like a drug, making you crave for more of them, a fix which you get, whenever the characters get their own fix in the film. Lots of people might misinterpret this as glamourising the drug culture but these moments are so fleeting that they're over before you even know it, and then it's back to Harry, Marion, Sarah and Tyrone's sick and depraved search for the next fix, which very accurately portrays the twisted quest of a true and sincere addiction.The film is also superbly scored by Clint Mansell and hauntingly performed by the Kronos Quartet. A series of hauntingly shocking, yet mind-numbingly beautiful pieces which linger in your head long after you've left the cinema.Lastly, the direction of Aronofsky, brilliant, beautiful, empathic. There are not enough words to describe his direction or this film and I think the best way to say it is that I am speechless. Aronofsky has shown me that, jaded by so many films, something can still prompt me to sit up and take notice. To see something that I have never seen before or learn something I don't already know. The ending, is sheer power. A masterpiece of all the elements of what filmmaking is about, mixed together in some sick souffle and thrown into your face, burning hot and scalding. The film leaves a deep impression, in fact, a huge scar. And it is a scar I am proud to wear.
"Requiem" Is a Heavyweight (by Brian Scott Mednick)
You will not so much as want to take a sip of wine after watching this mesmerizing film about the horrors of drug addiction. I was not a fan of director Darren Aronofsky's debut film "Pi," but with this movie he proves to be a filmmaker of unlimited vision and style. Four characters in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn are all driven to despair due to their drug abuse, the saddest being Ellen Burstyn as a nice Jewish widow who unwittingly becomes addicted to prescription diet pills that help her lose weight but drag her into a world of hallucinations and paranoia. Burstyn is superb. It <more>
is so refreshing to see such a great veteran like her in such a challenging leading role, one in which she goes through a hell worse than that in "The Exorcist."But this is a director's film if there ever was one. Aronofsky knows how to tell a story in a way that is dazzling in its use of sound, editing, and cinematography. The score by the Kronos Quartet and Clint Mansell is the most striking movie music I have heard in a very long time."Requiem for a Dream" is not a movie for everyone. It is the essence of independent filmmaking, a daring, engrossing, artful film that stays with you long after you leave the theater. Hollywood bubblegum this ain't.
Well, I´ve seen "Pi" and was fascinated. Now, there´s "Requiem for a dream" and my expectations were very, very high. That can be the downfall for a movie, but in this case I wasn´t disappointed. Aronofsky proves not only that he can direct a "bigger" movie, he also shows how one can do so without selling out. To be more precise: "RFAD" is one of the most disturbing and depressing movies that came out of the US for a looooong time. From the opening scene to its final curtain it´s...well, a requiem for the characters, who are all perfectly portrayed <more>
by their actors. Ellen Burstyn is unbelievable. The power of her performance can only be compared to that of Björk in "Dancer in the dark". Aronofskys direction is even more experimental than in "Pi" and some of his ideas, like his combination of sound and picture are really innovative and give his movie a musical feel -without creating a long music video. On the downside, you could say that this movie offers no hope, no solution - but then, this would´ve been a lousy compromise.
I was tempted to title this "Drugs are bad, mm'kay?" because "Requiem" was so sad I was desperate to inject some humor. Man, what a sad, scary, excellent, grim, disturbing, well-made movie. The more I read about RFAD and learned, the more fascinating it seemed. I'm one of those people who, upon hearing a movie is extremely shocking, has a burning urge to see it as fast as possible to see if it shocks me especially unrated or NC-17 , since I'm pretty jaded. So, I eagerly anticipated seeing it.Unfortunately, I read so much about the making of the movie that I <more>
knew a little too much about the plot going in, so there were few plot surprises. "Requiem" concerns four addicts. Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly play a young loving couple, Harry and Marion, who dabble in heroin and plan to make a big sale with their friend Tyrone Shawn Wayans so they can be set for life and Marion can start her own business. Their recreational drug use turns into day-to-day addiction, and things start to get ugly. VERY ugly. Ellen Burstyn plays Harry's mother Sarah, a lonely widow who wants to lose weight to fit into a red dress to appear on her favorite TV show. She starts out addicted to TV and candy, but has the bad luck to visit a doctor who-in what I thought was the only unrealistic aspect-gives her an RX for 'diet pills', that turn out to be speed. I say unrealistic because, as anyone who's ever worked in the medical profession knows, few doctors will write a new patient a huge prescription for extremely powerful, addictive controlled substances without even an exam.I found her story thread the most memorable and heartbreaking. Sarah takes her pills and starts losing weight, plus suddenly becoming energetic and chatty. Like any addictive drug, her happy blue pills stop working after prolonged use, so she ups her dose more...and more...and things slowly start getting very weird and scary. In one of the best scenes midway through, Harry visits her --the only visit where he doesn't openly steal her TV to pawn for dope. He's briefly riding high in more ways than one and announces he bought her a big-screen TV; he wanted to do something nice for her and figured out that "TV is her fix". He looks uneasy when she's babbling happily about how she has a reason to get up in the morning, then he hears her grinding her teeth, and figures it out ...the first time in the movie you see real fear in his eyes. Sarah soon starts having very scary strung-out hallucinations-starting out with subtle things like time woozily slowing down and speeding back up, and when her refrigerator suddenly starts moving on its own, the real nightmare begins. An aggressive fridge may sound Monty Python-esque now, but trust me, you won't be smiling by the end of the movie.One review I read said that the movie not only pulls the rug out from under you, it drags you and the rug down a long flight of stairs into a very dark basement. Another reviewer compared the experience of watching the film to a drug, and that's not too far off the mark either. Whenever a character gets high, there's a slam-bang fast-cut montage of the same images over and over; a sigh, a pupil dilating, cells changing color. The description I probably agree with most came from Aronofsky himself; he compared the film to a jump from a plane without a parachute, and the movie ends three minutes after you hit the ground. The last few minutes that show the gruesome, depressing, worst-case-scenario fates of all four characters are just as intense, hard to watch, and nightmarish as I heard they were. I don't think I will ever forget Harry's mother's transformation from a harmless, plump, friendly older woman to someone so frightening looking that people cringe away in fear and revulsion at the sight of her.My only complaints would be that I wished there was more time for character development. The film is divided into 3 segments, Summer things going fine, having fun getting high Fall the beginning of the downhill slide and Winter end of the line . I would've liked more scenes of what these people and their lives were like before addiction, as well as their relationships with each other. The cast is stellar- Wayans shows that he has the most range and talent of the Wayans bros- I laughed so hard at him in Don't Be A Menace that I ended up buying it, but here ...wow. I would've liked to see more of his character. I never liked Leto much before, but he's excellent and also almost unrecognizable he dropped 1/5 of his weight for the role and oh, it shows . Connelly I actively disliked before, but I was very impressed and now know she can act. Burstyn gives the performance of a lifetime- not only convincing, but dedicated enough to let the filmmakers make her look like absolute and total hell; few actresses over 55 would probably be as fearless.Not recommended if you're easily shocked, squeamish, or upset. If you only like movies that take you to a happy place, stay away. Everyone who left the movie theater looked like they had just been hit over the head with a very large board, and we all who knew what we were getting into. Recommended for those who want to see a movie that will completely overtake you and involve you emotionally. In addition, this film should be required viewing for everyone in the fashion industry that supported/glorified that whole 'heroin chic' crap. Also a good movie if you are having some problems in your life and want to put them in perspective VERY fast. 9 out of 10 stars. I'll probably never look at my fridge quite the same again...
I respect and admire this movie, even though and perhaps because it is complex, occasionally irritating and often very hard to take. Frankly, I avoided seeing it for a long time, but now am glad I did. To complain that the film fails as a realistic portrayal of addiction is, I think, to miss the point. Far from being the mere depiction of a collective downward spiral fueled by drugs, the movie is in fact a meditation on loneliness, greed, corruption, desperation, and the pervasiveness/banality of media, among many other things.The subtleties of the text are communicated, first and foremost, <more>
by superb acting. The performances of Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans are all revelatory. In particular, I was knocked out by Burstyn, who is almost comically pathetic in the beginning, but who manages by the end to convey her character's utter devastation in the truest, most heartbreaking manner imaginable. The others are absolutely perfect as well; I was simply astonished by Leto and especially Wayans may he eschew "scary movies" forevermore . Connelly has perhaps the most difficult role in the film, with opportunity and motivation galore to go over the top, and she delivers not a single false note throughout.My only real quibbles with the movie have to do with certain instances of the split-screen and jump-cut techniques, which struck me as somewhat gimmicky and repetitious, respectively. That being said, overall the style of the film is impressive and appropriate. The cinematography is beautifully conceived and executed, and the score is every bit as haunting as the performances thanks largely to the work of the Kronos Quartet .In sum, regardless of whether or not the subject matter itself shocks you, this movie will put the viewer through the proverbial wringer. Give it a chance, and you will connect with the characters and then witness their destruction spiritual and otherwise . It is a punishing but unforgettable experience. I'm not sure whether I'd necessarily recommend it or not; it all depends on your personal tolerance level with regard to an unflinching portrayal of human nature and behavior at their most extreme and, ultimately, tragic. For my part, while I don't expect to watch this film very often in the future, I'm sure glad it'll be on the shelf.
After watching this for first time, I thought to myself, "Wow, with some appropriate editing, this ought to be required viewing for high school students as it's probably one of the best "anti-drug" presentations one could ever see.Young filmmaker Darren Aronofsky takes a depressing subject and makes it fun to watch, if that's possible. However, I'm speaking in general terms because - warning - a couple of scenes are anything but fun to view. Aronofsky uses stop- action/fast forward techniques, sound effects, hallucination scenes, etc. all to make this a good movie <more>
for the senses.Ellen Burstyn is outstanding in this film and many people who viewed this thought she should have won an Academy Award for her performance. Boy, if she doesn't scare you away from taking diet pills, nobody can. She's the only one in this film that is actually fun to watch. Jennifer Connelly can be one easily ogled by us guys but she plays so many sleazy, unlikeble roles, it's tough to warm up to her.Jared Leto, meanwhile, does his best to show us the horrors of what could happen when you hooked on junk which involves needles. In the last 30 minutes there are a few horrifying parts as Leto's infected arm gets worse and worse. People who have seen this film know what I'm talking about, It is grim, very grim but maybe that's what all of us need to see once in awhile.To watch Bursteyn and Leto slowly disintegrate is unforgettable and for Aronofsky to make this watchable was quite a feat. But for the grace of God, as it is said, one of these characters could be us.
In the tradition of films like "American History X", and "Boys Don't Cry", a film that needs to be seen. (by TxMike)
"Requiem for a Dream" is not a pretty movie, most of us cannot identify with the main characters, it does not allow you to feel good at any point, except maybe to think, "I'm glad I never got mixed up with drugs." I require the title of every movie to make sense, so examining this one I come up with, "A musical service for the repose of the dead requiem " for "something of beauty or charm associated with dreams rather than reality." And that perfectly describes the film.SPOILERS... There are lots of people in this film, but it is the story of only <more>
four of them - Sara Ellen Burstyn , who gets scammed into sending an application with money, no doubt for a TV appearance, then needing to lose weight, getting in with a shady diet doctor, eventually getting hooked on pills and turning into this monster of a person who no longer can relate to the world.Harry Jared Leto , her son, along with Marion Jennifer Connelly , his girlfriend, and Tyrone Marlon Wayans , his friend, all get caught up in the drug culture. He repeatedly steals Sara's TV set, wheels it down to pawn for drug cash, she goes behind him and pays to get it out of pawn. "But he's my only son", she pines when asked why she doesn't call the police.They get wise, buy some good stuff, cut it, make a good profit, repeat the cycle, eventually hoping to get rich. But their "habit" clouds their judgement, they get screwed, they drive towards Florida to get more stuff, are arrested at a hospital stop 600 miles south of NYC, Harry has his arm surgically removed because of use-induced infection, Tyrone ends up in prison, Marion has to prostitute herself to get drug money, Sara has shock treatment and is never herself again. Each tragedy, each shattered "dream", a result of drug use. And the whole film is the "requiem" for those dreams.I'm sure some of all these things happen some time, but in all I found this to be just a bit of a caricature of how the drug culture ends the functional lives, sooner or later, of all who get mixed up in it. Thus the title of the film.Jennifer Connelly has always been beautiful, but as she matures is also turning into one of our finest female actors. Although Burstyn received the Oscar nomination, I think Connelly's performance was the best in this film. Like most of the "mature" voters, I rate it "8" of 10, unlike all those "under-30" voters who rated it "9" and "10" because of the "gee-whiz" factor, or maybe they could identify with the characters more than I can. I didn't always care for the strange way the movie was filmed, although much of it was necessary for telling this story. The first time I saw Tyrone running in the alley with the camera somehow attached to him, I thought that was neat and unique. However, as they used it for several other scenes, I began to focus on the camera technique rather than the story.I saw the DVD. It has one of the most irritating menu presentations possible, using a test pattern raster with interference. Cute, but I soon found myself avoiding use of the menu. However, the picture and sound of the movie itself, in Digital Dolby 5.1, are really first rate.