Requiem for a Dream (2000) Review

This film shows how bad drug addictions can be and how the people suffering from them have no power to stop, even though the four people this is happening to in the film are all very ambitious and want certain things out of life. But with drug addictions spiralling out of control can they really reach their dreams?

I had heard a lot about how powerful this film was before I eventually got to watch it this morning. I wasnt entirely sure what to really expect from it, as I knew it was about people with drug addictions and it was very depressing. That was pretty much the depth as I did not find out more about it, as I wanted to just watch it.

The four people in the story with the drug addictions are Harry (Jared Leto) his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) who both plan on getting rich by selling drugs, Harry’s girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn).

Sara’s drug addiction comes from “diet” pills which replace meals in order for her to lose weight and become thin, so she can live her dream of appearing of TV. This being the reason she wants to lose the weight in the first place. This is such a traumatic person to watch, as you see her become obsessed and taken over by the drugs, eventually becoming insane. All of this contributes to some of the worst scenes to have to watch in this film, in the sense that she was such a normal person before starting to take the pills. Showing how easy it is to become addicted to something to get to your dream. Ellen Burstyn put in an amazing performance as Sara, it really was fantastic acting.

Marion was an example of how far someone addicted to drugs would go to get another hit. Most of this involved sex, or sex acts. Which offered a strange insight into how far a woman would go for drugs, and what exactly it would cost her. I found this difficult to watch as well, as a woman I could not imagine putting myself through what she did in terms of being such an object to a man (or men).

Harry changes throughout the film when he has a big chance to change his life and for a while it works well for him, but unfortunately not long enough for him to stay clean. When he gets back into taking drugs again, his arm ends up in very bad shape this results in himself and Tyrone to get arrested. Tyrone is last seen in prison thinking about his mother when he was a child. Harry is seen in hospital having lost his arm.

For me the hardest thing when watching this film had to be that it really could happen to anyone becoming addicted to drugs or addicted to anything really. As no matter what people say to you, your not going to listen at all because when and in the moment everything seems alright and that its going to be even better than normal . . . reaching your dream.

I found the way ‘shooting up’ and taking of the drugs were filmed to be a very unique way. Being able to see extreme close-ups of the character’s gives us further insight into how they were feeling.

While I found the performances and the film brilliant in the way of presenting drug addiction, I do not think its a film that I will be watching again anytime soon, I may not ever watch it again. It could end up in the same classification as “The Pianst” that it was so hard-hitting that a second viewing is not necessary and I will remember some of the scenes without ever watching it again.

Would you do anything to reach your dream?

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6 thoughts on “Requiem for a Dream (2000) Review

  1. I’ve seen many, many disturbing movies, but this one sticks with me for weeks after every viewing. It contains the most relentlessly bleak, hopeless ending I’ve ever seen, but one that feels infinitely more authentic than most dumbly optimistic movies about drug addiction. Ellen Burstyn was robbed — and I mean ROBBED — of the Oscar for her performance because she is stunning, and her final scene still gives me nightmares.

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    • I can see that it is going to stick with me for a while as well, even made me think that things aren’t really that bad for me at the moment (when I have had a weekend of feeling sorry for myself). That end scene, when it flashed to her friends outside crying made me instantly cry as I was shocked as well in the last view we got of her.

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  2. I understand about not viewing the movie again. I love this film, but it’s bleak. I’ve seen this film a handful of times with years separating the viewings. It’s like “No Country for Old Men”. I have seen it once and I have no desire to see it again. It’s still a good film, but I’ll see it again in 2015 or something to see how it holds up.

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