1990 Silicon Dreams Games and Movie Reviews: Requiem for a Dream: Darren Aronofsky

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Requiem for a Dream: Darren Aronofsky

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Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 movie from director Darren Aronofsky, who's knows for such culturally defining films, such as Pi, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan. The movie is based on the novel from Hubert Selby Jr. and its premise is exploring the means by which drug addiction in many ways changes and eventually destroys the lives of the people who meddle in them. 

The movie's protagonist, Harry(Jared Leto), his friend Tyrone(Marlon Wayans), his girlfriend, Marion(Jennifer Connelly) and his mother Sara(Ellen Burstyn) all have somewhat of a problem with substance abuse. The former three are products of the culture of their time, they're brought together by the act of shooting up heroin, although they come from different places. Harry and Tyrone are old friends, and Sarah is the daughter of rich parents who wants to gain her own independence by starting a designer clothes business. The movie starts out with Jared Leto's character 'stealing' his mother's TV in order to pawn it at the local market for some cash to go shoot up. His mother in the meantime's locked herself in her closet, and for an opening scene it's pretty intense in portraying the effects of heroin withdrawal in Harry who at the same time needs the hit bad, but professes a sort of misguided manipulative love for his mom.

Later on the movie tracks the characters through their daily lives, living a life of careless enjoyment from one hit to the next, never knowing where the night will take them. All of us should know better than to think it romantic, but the movie makes a great effort to compel with images of the complete wireless bliss that is reducing ones needs and wants in life to a simple substance addiction.

After some time our character decide it'd be a great idea to score some pure heroin, since there's the local heroin convention coming up, cut and sling it for some hard cash. After all Marion needs the money for her clothes shop, and Harry and Tyrone probably don't want to haul that TV every day for the rest of their lives. For a while it actually works out for them, but then it starts going downhill - and fast. Tyrone gets into trouble with the local drug-lord, Harry's arm is already gangrenous from shooting up so much, and Marion and Sara's fate is probably the most horrifying of them all. Meanwhile Sara has been a drug addict herself in a more socially acceptable way taking amphetamines (which at the time were prescribed along with sleeping pills for weight-loss).

Near the end of the movie we see all of the characters completely broken by the consequences of their choices. Back when Requiem for a Dream movie came out it was universally appraised, as an eye-opening tale of how substance abuse can and will ruin both your life and the lives of the people you love.   


  1. Excellent review! The movie is one of my all time favorites. But it might be THE only film I do not want to watch ever again. Not because it's bad or anything, it's just the ending and the build-up...

  2. Never watched it, will check it out

  3. Jennifer looks so cute in this film.

  4. I liked this one so much because of Connely and Leto's acting. Even though the plot itself derives from inner destruction, I saw glimpses of hope in their careers.

  5. My favorite Aronofsky movie and I think Leto is brilliant, long time since I watched it last though, thanks for reminding me!

  6. Be excited, be, be excited!
    Juice by harry, juice by harry


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