Review: Requiem for a Dream (2000)

USA, Darren Aronofsky

Now, I’m going to recommend this film, but with a disclaimer that it is definitely not for everyone. It is grim, depressing, at times gruesome, disturbing and bizarre.  But if you can stomach an hour and a half of decent into the depths of addiction, you will experience a powerful and visually unique film.

Four Brooklynites, a young man (Jared Leto), his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly–far, far more impressive in this film than in A Beautiful Mind, for which she won an Oscar,) his mother (Ellen Burstyn) and his best friend (Marlon Wayans) each become enmeshed in their own personal drug hell.  Burstyn is a stand out in her performance as a woman deathly afraid of being alone, who pursues her false dream of starring on her favorite TV self-help/game show and becomes addicted to diet pills. She should have won the Oscar that year, especially considering who she lost to (Julia Roberts–ugh!–in Erin Brockovich) Since her character had an addiction, and not a physical/mental disability to overcome, she probably didn’t stand a chance of garnering the Academy’s recognition. But I digress…

Equally outstanding is the visual style of the film. The cinematography and editing (this film has an incredible number of cuts in it) combine to give Requem a very unique style and pace that makes it totally engrossing. Time-lapse photography, cameras strapped to the actors’ bodies and the effective pairing of images to odd sound effects are just some of the elements at play. [***** out of 5]

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3 thoughts on “Review: Requiem for a Dream (2000)

  1. This movie is so fucking real it’s freaky. All the actors are awesome and they know exactly what they are doing.

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