REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000) movie review

Infantile cravings, though innate, can overcome and potentially destroy if unrestrained by maturity and self-control. The hunger pangs of this film by Darren Aronofsky grow beyond craving to obsession. As with any drug, a lingering pleasure, a momentary satistfaction is reached. One exhales only to take in new air, new breath of disappointment in a high as yet again unfelt, unreached. Intake. In. Take. Take. Take. Take in.

Seizing. Seizing again. This film is a seizure-worthy kaleidoscoping journey through addiction and self-destruction.

Four stories intertwine, lifting and falling, hushed then screaming. They emote, but are guarded. They lie so constantly that they can’t decipher truth. Jared Leto, son front and center, dreams of a middle-to-upper class life and believes that selling drugs can get him there. It’s his get-rich-quick scheme. That’s all. His best friend can help him get there, as he’s well connected. His girlfriend, Jennifer Connolly, loves him dearly, but when push comes to shove, will offer her body in exchange for the drug she loves more. Leto’s mother, played by Ellen Burstyn , finds herself possessed with a vision of television fame, which claims her as she tries a simple prescription weight-loss drug to melt away the ever-present desire for food. She is always hungry, and her constant need to feed is quickly replaced with pills. If one works, more must work better. If one hit works, more must be better. Just try a little. But more is never better. Cravings replace longings and turn to obsession in each story. All four end as they came into the world: in fetal position clutching all that they have left and believing the lie that they are going to be okay.

If our lives are our personal requiems, we require many voices. The music crescendos with conflict and slows to harmonious tinkles when peace returns, if peace ever returns.

This film is one of dissonance and hunger. Death, the innevitable outcome. Methods in this case involve meth, heroine, loneliness, pride, and greed. See this film if you are ever tempted by drugs. You’ll hate the idea, the constant craving pains, the need on replay, the ache for more. This film exhausts, distresses. I can’t watch it again. I had to watch some of it in fast forward. No amount of love can replace the gutteral instinct to use. And this film makes drug use of every kind despicable with only one outcome: suffering. Beware: the journey is very real and disturbing. Violence, drug use, sex, nudity – all in the rating and possibly underplayed by the “R.”


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  1. this is on my most despised movie list. it’s terrifying, thought-provoking, sickening, HORRIFYING. and the end is the very worst part. i never, ever, ever want to see it again either. jennifer’s desperate eyes still haunt my mind.

  2. p.s. for an all-too-real, gritty, cautionary drug tale i prefer danny boyle’s ‘trainspotting.’

  3. Such an amazing review! I own the Blu-Ray which my friends have all found weird. This is not an easy movie to watch, nor should it be, but it’s a haunting movie no doubt. I firmly believe kids should watch this if only so they’ll never take drugs.

  4. I want to say it’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen, but it’s so difficult to watch. Yet, at the same time, you can’t seem to take your eyes off the screen…

  5. I like to consider this one of my favorite movies, but is most definitely the one I have seen by far the least. It is so wonderfully done yet is just so disturbing at the same time. Definitely a thinker though.

  6. I love the score for this movie. This movie truly gives a much needed depiction into addiction. Not a fun movie to watch, but a great film overall. I would recommend to all ages, great family film for the holidays.

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