Requiem for a Dream (2000)

DailyView: Day 277, Movie 389

I’m shaken.

I do not think I have had such a haunting experience watching a movie in… well, I am not sure when or if I have had quite an experience like that.

Requiem for a Dream was a masterful movie… and I never want to see it again.

The film was focused on the drug addictions/abuses of four main characters, Sarah Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connolly) and Harry’s friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). Each of the four of them had a different direction to take with their drug abuse, but it was portrayed in a much similar fashion. You could tell how the film, which was shot in a dream-like state in many of the scenes, was building to make this something that would stay with you.

The performance of Ellen Burstyn, in particular, was absolutely crushing; it wrecked me. She deserved every last bit of recognition that she received for this performance because it was utterly crazy.

The music was also designed to destroy you too, as every minute of the film progressed, the score was ripping into your brain, putting you on edge.

Then there is the third act. I literally watched this with my mouth open, not believing what I was seeing, and wrapping my arms around myself in an unsuccessful attempt to contain the feels. I have never seen anything like the montage at the end of this movie and it ripped my heart out of my chest (not literally, this time). Holy Hell, this was unbelievable. The closest I can come to comparing the feeling was as I watched Schindler’s List for the first time. I desperately wanted to shut Requiem for a Dream off and retreat within myself during this scene, but I persevered and watched it through to its depressing and heart-wrenching conclusion.

Darren Aronofsky directed the heck out of this. I have not been a huge fan of Aronofsky over the years, with The Wrestler being the one film that I loved from his oeuvre. Aronofsky has been known for his surrealism in his movies and how he uses psychological aspects of character to deconstruct the archetypes of characters. The imagery of this film was outstanding and added to the overall tone that Aronofsky was building towards.

Requiem for a Dream was a trip of a film. As I said, I never want to watch this again, but I think that I am glad that I watched it. It left a pit in my stomach after viewing which is currently, as of this writing, is still there and when a film can affect you like this, it has to be a good thing, right?

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