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Painful to Watch. More Painful to Resist.
Review By Nick Mead


Requiem For A Dream

FILM: Requiem For A Dream (Released in 2000)

STARRING: Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans

RATING: NR (Original given an NC-17 rating, but the studio chose to have it released with no rating.)

Drug addiction is something this country's dealt with at many lengths. It has corrupted kids to the point where they forget their parents' names, and destroyed more lives than guns. To say drugs are bad would be an incredible understatement. Darren Aronofsky realized that when he co-wrote this film with the novel's author Hubert Selby Jr.

This is probably one of the most visually dazzling and most true to life films to flash across the silver screen in years. Darren Aronofsky's talent shows true with these intense images of pain and torment. Clint Mansell (who also provided the score for Pi) makes these visuals all the more disturbing with tracks like "Lux Aeterna" and "Summer Overture." Mansell (with the aid of the Kronos Quartet) keeps a similar electronic feel from Pi yet also creates a more beautiful and haunting score.

The performances, camera work, plot, and overall feel of this film is beyond words-- beyond imagination. It hurts to watch this film. Mentally painful to see the downfall these people, who you care for so much, go through. Everyone in this film shines with elegant grace that complete this tiny gem. This movie should go down in history as one of the best ever. My friends, this is what cinema was made for. Requiem For A Dream

Aronofsky's incredible style of a filmmaker follows the lives of four people. Three friends (Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, Jennifer Connelly) who are drawn into drug dealing and ultimately addiction with the hopes of one day starting their own store and living the American dream. Ellen Burstyn plays a woman addicted to television and to speed, with a hopeless obsession fit into a red dress for a television show which she believes she'll be on. Everyone in this film gives a daring and Oscar worthy performance that it will startle even the most prepared of movie goers.

The visuals in this film far surpass those in Aronofsky's first feature. Split screens, extreme close-ups, underwater torture, and a vicious sex scene fills the screen in this movie. The NC-17 rating was due to this film's extremely disturbing images and intense climax. Even without the sex this film may still not be worthy of an R rating as it will horrify anyone under (and likely over) the age of 17. This isn't a pretty movie...it isn't fun to watch, it is actually difficult to go through this experience. My emotional outlook of life and of film changed drastically. But, I would not hesitate one bit at a chance to see it again. If you have an open mind and the heart to muster the most neglected feelings in the human soul, I highly recommend this underrated gem. Hats off to Mr. Aronofsky!

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