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Requiem for a Dream (2000)

How far would you go? — Written by lovelyT on 06.01.2011

This is by far one the most disturbing movies I've seen, not because of its shocking scenes, but because of the theme, which is so strong that it leaves you with that weird feeling of unease and with so many impressions and thoughts. It is definitely a movie you won't soon forget. It covers a well known story of drug world and junkies, but told in such an original way, through perfect direction, masterful performances and music score which increases its potency and makes you even more uncomfortable. I've heard so many things about this movie, but I didn't think that it would make such a strong impact on me. I was speechless, but left with so many thoughts and impressions that I couldn't even express them all.

We follow the story of Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) and his mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and their ways of dealing with their situation. They are all drug addicts who are slowly getting lost in that vicious world, where there is no space for self esteem and self appreciation, but where there is only room for thought about the next fix and the ways to get a hold of it. Sara is the victim of her life situation. She is a widower who is slowly losing her son, too and the only thing she has is the TV show she is constantly watching and her afternoon talks with her female neighbours. Her life changes after she gets a phone call with the information that she is going to be on television. She becomes obsessed with that fact and the current popularity among her friends and so she begins to take four different pills a day to lose weight and fit in her red dress she last wore to her son's graduation. On the other side, we have her son who is struggling to get drugs together with his best friend and girlfriend. On their way to achieve their goals, they are slowly getting lost and finally end up alone and miserable. The ways they are trying to get drugs are so painful and low and this is the most shocking part of the movie, along with Sara's hallucinations after becoming addictive to her diet pills.

In my opinion this is one of the best portraits of what drugs can do to a human life. It turns you away from your friends, it alienates you from the world outside and it makes you do things you would never consider doing. It is told in a remarkable way, through images that don't need any explanations, with help of excellent actors and their masterful performances, especially by Ellen Burstyn, who should have been given the Oscar award for her portrayal of Sara. Her change from a well mannered housewife to a maniacal junkie is worth admiration because it is definitely one of the best female performances in the last decade. Jennifer Connelly is wonderful as a messed up girl who in the end doesn't choose the ways to get drugs. The last scene where she humiliates herself to the lowest is so painful to watch, especially when we see that she would really do anything for drugs.

Each minute of this movie is hard to watch because it is so realistically told that you can even feel compassion with the main characters although you don't approve of their deeds.
All situations and actions are followed by a great instrumental by Clint Mansell, perfomed by Kronos Queartet which makes you even more uncomfortable and proves the importance of music in movies, along with the great vision of its director. This is my first movie by Darren Aronofsky and I can't wait to experience some of his other works, to see if he manages to cause such strong feelings in me, as he did with this one.


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