In Aronofsky’s disturbing adaptation of the already distressing 1978 novel of the same name, by Hubert Selby Jr., we see the lengths people will go to to achieve happiness, using drugs as a toxic catalyst. While friends Harry (Jared Leto) and Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) aspire to be money-making drug dealers, so that the former can fulfil the dreams of his lover, Marion (Jennifer Connelly), who desires a career in the clothing business. Harry’s widowed mother, Sara (Ellen Burstyn) becomes engulfed in her ambition to become a contestant on a TV game show, and when the chance arises, it eventually leads to her painful downfall.
Harry, Tyrone and Marion soon become addicted to their own supply of heroine, while Sara becomes addicted to diet pills, which she takes in order to fit into her red dress she plans to wear on her television show debut.
The film is pretty hard to watch. There is no presence of the glamorizing of diet-pills, neither any notion of heroin-chicness. The hardships all four protagonists face, due to their addiction, is truly horrifying, and would deter several away from drugs, and more away from watching this film again.
The filming and post-production involved in the final scene sums up the story perfectly. We see scenes of Sara go through jolts of Electroconvulsive Therapy juxtaposed with Marion’s degrading sex-show, Harry’s amputation and Tyrone’s time in prison, where he is racially abused by the police officers. The agonizing visuals are emphasised by the dramatic composition “Lux Aeterna,” composed by Clint Mansell. This only goes to intensify the panic within the viewer, an emotion I’m sure the film has already conjured.
The final moral of the film is clear and succinct: Never ever let the things you desire, own you.
Requiem for a Dream
director DARREN ARONOFSKY
director of photography MATTHEW LIBATIQUE
cast JARED LETO, JENNIFER CONNELLY, ELLEN BURSTYN and MARLON WAYANS
words PRIYESH PATEL
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