Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a retired widow, living in a small apartment. She spends most of her time watching TV, especially a particular self-help show. She has delusions of rising above her current dull existence by being a guest on that show. Her son, Harry (Jared Leto) is a junkie but along with his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) has visions of making it big by becoming a drug dealer. Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) could be fashion designer or artist but is swept along in Harry's drug-centric world. Meanwhile Sara has developed an addiction of her own. She desperately wants to lose weight and so goes on a crash course involving popping pills, pills which turn out to be very addictive and harmful to her mental state.Written by
Director Darren Aronofsky described this film as exploring different types of addiction: "The Harry-Tyrone-Marion story is a very traditional heroin story. But putting it side by side with the Sara story, we suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, what is a drug?' The idea that the same inner monologue goes through a person's head when they're trying to quit drugs and cigarettes, as when they're trying to not eat food so they can lose twenty pounds, was really fascinating to me." See more »
(at around 1h 1 min) When Marion leaves Arnold's apartment and runs onto the street to vomit it is raining heavily, however when she arrives back home her hair and clothes are completely dry. See more »
The opening credits each disappear as if being melted like heroin. See more »
In the opening credits for the edited version, when the title card "Requiem for a Dream" crashes down, underneath it is a red box with red lettering that reads "edited version", making it clear to the viewer that they are not seeing the true version of the film. See more »
I'm not going to waste space with a synopsis, as every second or third review provides one. A good indication of a challenging and original film is the number of 1/10 and 10/10 reviews, where the 1/10 reviews consist of just a few lines. A pretty sure sign that those folks weren't able or willing to watch with an open mind. Which is a good sign for casual viewers to give this film a wide berth.
I wish everyone I care about would see Requiem for a Dream. Not because they will like it, or that it will teach them something they did not already know, but that it's a rare piece of work that will challenge and probably change them. It's a film that has never been made before, with nothing to compare to it - a rarity these days. I often find myself recommending films to people that I am unable to briefly describe. These are usually the most involving and affecting ones. I'd like my family to see this, but can't *recommend* it to them. I've recommended it to two friends, and they both had the same reaction: I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I'll be in the frame of mind to watch it again, knowing what you feel.
As I sat watching the credits roll, I began crying, but I'm still not sure why. Partly in reaction to the devastatingly tragic ending, partly the beauty (yes) of the film, partly my gratitude for good things in my life. I watched it again the same night with my girlfriend, not because I wanted to upset her, but I felt that I had to share it. After the credits rolled, we both were silent for a good ten minutes. I found that I had thoughts I wanted to express, but could find no words. This is one of the few films that are painful to experience, but I feel compelled to share with people I care about. Some others in that short list include The Thin Red Line, Happiness, River's Edge,and The Deer Hunter.
These films all share a quality that's difficult to name. No one likes feeling disturbed or shattered by a film, a work of art, a piece of music, but I feel experiencing these emotions and being asked to think, not just be entertained, is important now and then.
"Favorite" does not apply to this for me - this isn't about entertainment. One of the most devastating and beautiful experiences I've had watching a film. One of the top five films I've ever seen.
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