Requiem for a Dream
- Darren Aronofsky
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Friday, January 26, 2001
This movie tells the story of 4 intertwined characters. There’s Harry (Jared Leo), a common guy who dreams of having one last big hit. There’s his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connely), who dreams of having her own clothes shop. There’s his mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn), who is very lonely and gets a chance to be on TV, although she is too fat, so she just dreams of becoming thinner and presentable with her astonishing red dress. And there’s his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) who longs for his old family days and is the contact with the underground world, dreaming as well of having one last hit and never worrying again about money. What do they have all in common? Dreams, dreams and more dreams.
At the beginning of the movie we get the sense that nothing could interfere with that, but wait, drugs get in the way and... well, I’m not telling you. Let me just say that this movie will leave you breathless. It is the kind of movie that when it finishes you feel tired, you feel exhausted, you feel like it just sucked all your energy and played with your brain and your nerves. It is that strong.
Darren Aronofsky has created here a movie that will be remembered for ages because of its sheer power. He is a true talent and you won’t believe all the things he pulls off with this movie. He uses nearly every imaginable camera device you’ve ever seen, and some more. There are quick cuts, rare camera angles, split screens, steady cameras, slow motion, quick motion, and you could go on forever. The amazing thing is that none of this affect the story or our connection with the characters. They are always used in the necessary places to give the necessary effect. It is an amazingly exciting movie just to watch by itself.
But then there is the people. Four characters that are played by great actors. I’ll start with Ellen Burstyn, whose performance is nothing short of brilliant. She has created something here that you’ll never forget in your entire life. She goes through one of the most impressive transformations I have ever seen. And I’m talking about the entire history of movies. There is a breakup scene in her apartment with her son Harry in which every single expression, movement and tone of her acting is heartbreaking and done to perfection. You have to see it to believe it. On the other hand, Leto, Connely and Wayans are all great and powerful as well. All this characters go through the unimaginable and they are very realistic in doing so.
The movie was granted an NC-17 rating, but Artisan decided to go unrated and didn’t change a bit of it. They were very brave, but unfortunately, and because of dull censorship, many many people won’t get to see a movie that could actually do something for them. This should be shown at schools. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do drugs after living through this excruciating experience. The score, by the way, is also really good and effective. Watch out for those scenes of Sara and her refrigerator. An exhilarating emotional experience.
“I’m thinking thin!”
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