Requiem for a Dream Thoughts
Unfortunately, drugs are a rampant problem around the world and ruining lives every moment. There are countless amounts of anti drug campaigns being created but the issue still persists. There have been some incredible films made speaking against drug usage, some subtle than others but Requiem for a Dream is one of the more finer films.
Requiem for a Dream is a meticulously directed film. Darren Aronofsky makes sure that he’s not creating some hollywood hogwash that people can write off. He wants you to be in the world of these tragic characters. Requiem for a Dream is shot in the much more urban parts of Brooklyn to give it a gritty quality. A desolate Coney Island is the most beautiful place in the entire film and it says a lot compared to its backdrop. It’s a location where the characters to find peace. Especially every scene where there is a massive amount of light, it signifies a glittering hope for the characters. The title of the movie speaks for itself, it’s a dream turned into nightmare. Aronofsky has the film shot beautifully but there’s a faded quality to it. The beauty is combatting this glare like quality that almost makes some scenes unattractive but again the movie is supposed to resemble a dream. A dream can be beautiful at times but at the end it’s a very dream, the faded quality blends in even more as the film gets darker and darker like a nightmare.
To help matters, Aronofsky employs his permanent composer Clint Mansell who created a career changing score for himself. The score feels like it belongs in an epic but it fits so well into the film. In indie films like this, the score is usually one key piano or a stringed guitar but the unorthodox score fits well. The drug scenes in come off horrifying and the montage towards the end has the infamous Lux Aterna playing in the background. The score heightens the film to a whole new level.
We get an idea from the beginning scene in the film that these are broken characters. Ellen Burstyn is dynamite as Sara Goldfard, the mother of Jared Leto’s Harry. She’s a caring naive mother who desires for an ideal life. Life hasn’t been kind to her over the years, including her son Harry. She gets a call to be a on television that changes her life around, but she resorts to some terrible habits that also do change her life around. Ellen Burstyn is very convincing of the dynamic character change and you can’t help but cry for her during her monologue about being old in the middle of the movie. Jared Leto & Jennifer Connelly are perfect as the drug using couple who want an ideal life together but both are problematic characters who also let their drug usage get in the way. Harry wants to help Marion start her own clothing business but only earns money the only way he can, by drug dealing. His best friend Tyrone played by Marlon Wayans helps them with his own agenda to make his mother proud that he’d be successful. Marlon Wayans also proves himself, showing he’s not just a comedic actor but capable of dramas too. It’s heartbreaking to watch him sometimes. It’s a superbly acted film and Christopher Mcdonald shines in small role as the motivational infomercial host which was all improv. It’s nice to see an actor who is known for playing straight dads in such an eccentric role.
Would I recommend?
Requiem for a Dream is an unorthodox adaption of an unorthodox novel. The film is like it’s own drug trip, starting off from fun to something that’s unbearable. Aronofsky takes you into the mind of his characters and by the end you’re in tears on how terrible things are going. Everything here is perfectly crafted, from cinematography, to performances to a fantastic score. It’s a frightening film but will get you thinking about how terrible addiction can be really be but also the source of addiction. We dream for things we don’t have and don’t need and let them rule our lives where we could make the most out of what we have. It’s a twisted tale on the american dream. It’s a dark film that I recommend all see at least once in their lives. 8/10