Requiem for a Dream is a movie masterpiece, even though it is not a movie of beautification. Everything required for an incredible film is in there; great acting, cinematography, story, and the viewer's reaction. The title alone can fill one in on what this movie is, it's a 'death of a dream'. Even though this is not a movie made to beautify anything, it takes a serious problem and makes it as least glamorous as it could, therefore making it an anti-drug movie without preaching it. "Rober Ebert (EBERT AND ROEPER AT THE MOVIES), Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times, and Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News named Requiem for a Dream one of the 10 best films of 2000" (Rottentomatoes.com) With distinctions such as that I do believe that this film is by far the most brilliant movie about people's dreams and addictions and drugs, whatever they may be, ultimately destroying them in the end.
However, some people don't all agree with the genius of this film. Many claim it either to be too depressing, that it is simply an 'MTV project', or that it "celebrates the dubious glamour of the junkie lifestyle" (Arnold, Seatlepi). Yet I would disagree with all these claims as to why this movie is bad. First off, yes, this movie is not happy, but should all movies leave us with nothing but 'Oh, that was a fun movie!'? No, it's nice to see an intellectually good movie, which makes the audience really FEEL something. It is a movie which doesn't sit easily, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Secondly, there are claims that it is a MTV project. The director himself understands this feeling. He says that the MTV style is, "a style without substance" (Aronofsky, DVD extra). He argues that by saying, every shot and his way of filming is based on the truth and the story, he claims that he has substance behind his style. Finally, he doesn't just mean for this to be a movie about drugs. It is about addiction, whether that be a drug, coffee, sex, or hope. It may be unsettling how the kids turn to drugs, but not everything we see or deal with in life is a pretty picture.
The movie is very depressing, there is no way around that though. It is a movie about people losing what they want, it's about the mishaps of drugs and the way it destroys people. This movie does not have a happy ending, but that's what makes it so real and so affecting. Requiem for a Dream is about the pursuit of happiness, the American dream, and then losing it as fast as you can. "It's a hypnotic tale of four human beings each pursuing their vision of happiness. Even as everything begins to fall apart, they refuse to let go, plummeting with their dreams into a nightmarish, gut-wrenching free tail" (Requiem for a Dream cover). This story is centralized on the characters, it really makes you love them, you have this connection with them, but they do nothing but disappoint you on their downfall.
The four main characters are Sara, Harry, Marion, and Tyrone. They all have one thing in common is they have some form of addiction. Sara has this insane addiction with television, and she later adds this addiction to speed. Harry is addicted to heroin. Tyrone on the other hand is addicted to drugs and sex. Lastly, it is unclear as to what drug Marion is hooked on, whether it be snorting coke or possibly heroin, it is still to drugs. The movie works out beautifully in the way that he brings the stories together, and how he makes the characters all seem to have the same exact problem, they all have this serious addiction problem which gets in the way of their dreams. The director talks about how he uses images and sounds to connect the two stories together. The use of "sharp images and sharp sounds" to bring the actions of them shooting up, to the mom's actions of popping pills. (Aronofsky, DVD extra). It's also interesting how each of their addictions in some way or another aids another characters addictions. For example, Harry has to steal his...
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