Sunday, September 11, 2016

Requiem for a Dream

Movie Name: Requiem for a Dream
Year of Release: 2000
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Suzanne Shepherd, Janet Sarno, Mark Margolis
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

"Requiem for a Dream" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival of the year 2000, and ended up on several lists of the year's best films. The film follows the story of 4 characters, whose lives are all connected. Sara Goldfarb is a widow who spends all her time watching television, in particular infomercials. When she receives a call notifying her that she's been selected to be on a TV game show, she decides to go on a diet, with the aid of amphetamines. Her son Harry, alongside his girlfriend Marion and best friend Tyrone, are all addicted to heroin. They manage to do quite well in terms of getting a constant supply of drugs, until a drug-assassination takes place, which leaves Tyrone arrested. Following this event things take a turn for the worse, and all the characters start a downward spiral that threatens their lives.
Darren Aronofsky's debut feature "Pi" made an impact when it first premiered in 1998, but "Requiem for a Dream" definitely established him as a strong name to behold. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Hubert Selby Jr. (who also wrote "Last Exit to Brooklyn", itself a feature directed by Uli Edel which premiered in 1989), and it's another bleak view into the lives of four people who let their obsessions consume them to extreme points. Aronofsky manages to successfully portray the decadence and insanity that surrounds the extremes of these characters addictions. It's a stunning yet difficult film to view due to the pain, humiliation and profound misery that it depicts. The film features a great arresting performance from the fantastic Ellen Burstyn, who was justly nominated for an Academy Award. The score from Clint Mansell is beautiful as is the cinematography from Matthew Libatique. A very good film worth watching.