· Reviews

Requiem For A Dream

Beautiful. I’m in love with Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) and Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) in their utopia.

They are afloat a drug inflicted rosy mist of dreams. Never quit dreamland, as long as they can score a fix. Perfectly worriless, addicted to each other as much as to drugs. Junkies.

There’s nothing dangerous about it. It’s romantic, it’s beautiful.

Suddenly yet expectedly the ground beneath them vanishes. Everything falls apart and afore the forlorn backdrop of the deteriorating Coney Island, they crash into reality. Harry fails a drug deal and becomes disabled. Marion, all of a sudden out of money and therefore unable to score a fix, is forced to sell body. Just to feed the demon.

Concurrently Harry’s mother, Sara Goldfarb (Burstyn), is invited to her favourite TV show by an enthusiastic salesman-type-of-person. Sara falls for what is obviously a practical joke, gets very excited and decides to loose weight to look her best on the show. Through a friend she becomes acquainted to a dubious doctor who promises to make her fit. The pills she’s prescribed are illegal and cause her to become addicted.

Yet they work so after some days she’s taking them by the handful. She has looks she thought forever gone and being more alive than ever - she’s beautiful but high. The dangerous mix of speed and amphetamines that she’s taking subsequently take her into a private nightmare of hostile refrigerators and warped rooms. Slowly becoming insane she watches infomercials all day dreaming of talking about her successful son on TV

Director Darren Aronofsky’s innovative techniques like split screen scenes, quirky camera angles, extreme close-ups and violently unforgettable music help to convey the madness. Requiem for a dream alters. First it emotionally lifts you, now it presses you against the wall and makes you realize the truth and then it kicks you, kicks you very painfully. It’s an insane ride trough mania and paranoia. It imbibes you to a surreal urban landscape.

It makes you ineffective in turning your eyes from the screen. You become as addicted to this reality as the characters in it are bound to their personal demons. In the end it expels you, thoroughly impressed, unable to let go of the horrors you have just seen. At least that’s what it did to me.

Requiem for a dream is powerful. It makes one think of what it would be like. And most importantly it makes one feel the emotion behind the dry facts about chemical dependencies.

2003

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