Requiem for a Dream

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In the year 2000 Darren Aranofsky's Requiem for a Dream took a heart-wrenching look into the dark perils of drug addiction. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby, the story revolves around four connected characters whose lives are withered and wasted by drug consumption. The movie tackles the hopes and dreams of its characters by using drugs as its biggest conflict. Sara (Ellen Burstyn) is a widowed mother who lives alone and spends her time worrying about her only son Harry (Jared Leto). Harry is in a relationship with his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and shares a roommate by the name of Tyrone (Marlan Wayans), who are all addicts.

The first most noticeable attribute in this film is how both the score and cinematography immediately set the films tone. The film opens with the piercing sounds of violins and a bass-filled montage of ambience. The shot then opens with a dark serene view of a shoreline that is nothing short of uncomforting and unsettling. This style of instrumental music is played vaguely throughout the entire film, sometimes even unnoticeably behind dialogue. The films cinematography never strays from its grungy and dirty point of view. Requiem for a Dream is one of the very few films that use its artistic motif so profoundly, that it leaves its audience enthralled, captivated, and even emotionally vulnerable.

We have all seen this plot time and time again, but what also gives this type of film its biggest strength is that in no point in time is there a chance for comic relief. Once the characters have been established, the downfall of their drug addiction begins and never ends. This makes the film quite unbearable to watch at times because you are witnessing a slow but continuous drive destroying four good-hearted lives. This statement is comes from the actors amazing portrayal of such characters. The actors take it upon themselves to show mental and physical degradation due to the drug addiction to only have a final result...
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