Requiem For a Dream: Movie Review

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Directed by Darren Aronofsky and based on the written novel by Hubert Selby Jr, the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream (2000) depicts the lives of four people and their drug addiction. The film contains a mixture of electronic component and orchestral strings. The film does a superb job at making the viewers feel ill at ease with its use of rapid editing and time lapse editing which gives it the surrealistic vibe. The tension created throughout the scenes helps the viewers relate with the characters that never seem to be at ease and are always waiting for their next fix. I love how accurately the mental state of the addicts is portrayed throughout the film, it shows us the perspective and lifestyle of the struggling addicts and tells the story from their point of view.

The use of split screen is to show us exactly what the characters are thinking about an example of this is when Sara (Ellen Burstyn) is sitting down on the sofa starving and day dreaming about food. On one side of the split screen shot we see her constantly turning her eyes from the television to the fridge we can see the tension in her facial expression and body language as she is contemplating whether or not she should eat something. On the other side of the split screen shot we see a still shot of the fridge. Fast motion is also used on numerous occasions throughout the scenes in which we see our four protagonists injecting, snorting, popping and smoking drugs this is used to show just how fast of an effect the drugs are, the editing is then slowed down as the effects starts to slowly fade.

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Throughout this film we see that the characters are not particularly bad people, just people who have mad poor choices, this helps us as the viewers to really connect and sympathies which each of these four protagonists. Not only are these four characters consumed by their addictions they are consumed with this strange idea that drugs will lead them to a path of happiness. For Harry (Jared Leto) and Marion (Jennifer Connelly) they want to sell the drugs for money so that they can save to open up a clothing boutique store. Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) wants the drug money so that he can have an early retirement and leave the hood for good. But for Harry and Tyrone it’s becomes almost impossible try to sell and save money from their drug business whilst trying to support their own drug habit. For Mrs Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) it’s the idea of fitting back into the red dress (the one her late husband loved so much) so she can appear on her favourite television game show, her desperation into wanting to lose weight is what leads her unknowingly into her drug addiction.


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