Monday, April 9, 2012

Requiem for a Dream (2000) review


An intense portrayal of addiction touching to some and sickening to others.

PLOT:The first person we meet is a woman named Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) who is addicted to TV, mainly a self-help infomercial about a technique called "JUICE". One day, she receives a call that she has been selected to be on TV, and she goes insane over the call. She goes so insane, she tries to diet to fit into her old red dress. When that doesn't work, she goes to a doctor who sets her on four pills a day to help her lose weight. Our second character, Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), is Sara's son who currently runs a drug-trafficking business with his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). Harry plans on using the money from his sales to open up a fashion boutique for his girlfriend, Marion (Jenniefer Connelly) . When profits start running low for them, they have to dig deeper and deeper to get what they need. It's a very well-thought out plot executed to the best ends for each character.

ACTING:The acting in here is marvelous. This must be one of Burstyn's finest performances if not her best. I've seen Leto in the band 30 Seconds to Mars, but I never knew he could act! He did a pretty great job in here. Connelly never fails to disappoint me, and this is proof. Wayans even did a good job, considering this isn't his usual comedy deal. I don't think there was a bad performance in this whole film; everyone shined. Honorable mentions go out to the brief roles of Christopher McDonald and Keith David as well.

SCORE:The score here is brilliant. It's mind-boggling, haunting, memorable, and emotionally-fitting to the point that I can consider it a modern symphony of score. The key theme on this soundtrack is "Lux Aeterna", and I think it is a beautiful piece.

CAMERAWORK:I'm labeling this as camerawork, but I think the true subject I'm thinking of here is "editing". The editing in here was so clean, unique, and close. Director Darren Aronofsky is well-known among the critics as a directorial visionary, and I can see why. He has a certain essence of vision and perfectionism that every shot is cut to perfection and filmed for artistic emotion. I love his style and I will definitely be seeing more of his films.

OTHER CONTENT:This film is an intense, true look at the effects drugs can have on a person. It is also a beautiful, eye-opening, terrifying, unique trip into a bleak series of situations that cannot be described in any way but an amazing film. Some say that the film is being preachy by dissing weight loss pills and heroin, but not only do I think that it was made to do so, but I also think that they deserve to be put down for all they have done and can do, for my sister was a victim of them (true story). The only thing I found somewhat flawed in this movie is that it's definitely not for everyone. Some scenes are way too intense for the general audience to handle, especially near the end when it shows the terrifyingly depressing outcomes of our characters. One characteristic a movie needs to have to be successful is likability, which this does have but only to a certain audience and not everybody. It can get to be too much for most.

OVERALL,an awesome film with a well-thought out plot heavily involving character backgrounds, marvelous acting, brilliantly haunting and unique score, clean editing part of a great vision, and a true lesson to which I can understand, but it's not a film for every family or person to enjoy.


  1. Very well written..this film refused to let go for quite a while.

    Darren Aronofsky is a real fine new director..I always look forward to his films.

    How do you like "The Fountain"?

    1. I have never seen it. I'm new to Aronofsky's direction, for this, Black Swan, and snippets of The Wrestler are all I have seen.