Sunday, October 26, 2008

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream; Drama, USA, 2000; D: Darren Aronofsky, S: Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

The old Sara is obsessed with television ever since her husband died. Her son Harry is addicted to heroin and constantly takes her TV set away to sell it and get the money for his drugs. Harry has a girlfriend, Marion, who is also an addict so they are both shocked when they hear that heroin can't be purchased on the market anymore, but from some mobster for a huge price. Sara gets informed that she will appear on a quiz so she takes diet pills - becoming herself addicted. She goes crazy and lands in a hospital, as well as Harry who injured his arm, while Marion becomes a prostitute.

After Sci-fi drama "Pi" about a magical number that can explain the Universe, director Darren Aronofsky once again proved he is gifted in establishing a vibrant visual style, but that he doesn't have the courage to deeper explore and use a story. The overhyped "Requiem for a Dream" has a fantastic visual style: in the opening moments, there's a split screen where Sara is on the left side observing Harry while Harry himself is on the right side of the screen. There are huge close ups of protagonists while they are running; fast forward scenes, wide angle shots and further split screens with Sara on the upper side on the shot and the pills on the lower side, that are "cut" in time - all there to emphasize the disgusting, surreal feeling of drug addicts. But on the other hand, it's disappointing that the characters are one dimensional and all just follow the cliches of drug addicts, without any shift to something original. What's the point? Aronofsky just vaguely implies that "drugs are bad", but that's it, while his "overdose" of tricks and visual innovations become a mess after a while and cause a headache thanks to his 'autistic direction'. Ellen Burstyn is very good in the role of Sara and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.


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