Requiem for A Dream

So, I firmly believe that every middle schooler should watch this movie and as a result the drug problem in America would be solved. No questions asked. I am never doing heroin because of seeing this movie. I am not going to use the word "disturbing" because

1) that's all you hear when you hear mention of this film, and
2) "disturbing" normally implies subject matter that you don't want to think about or that is completely taboo, whereas this is something that needs to be seen and thought about

This movie was provocative and dark, and although I liked Pi much better, I still found this one to be immensely captivating. The main gimmick and selling point of this film is the editing. It's cut in such a sharp, unique way that blocks together sounds with images that are completely unrelated and as a result creates a simple effect that's fucking phenomenal. An example of this is the food disappearing from a the mother's plate through stop motion anim with the sound effect of a plane in the background. Who the fuck thought to piece those together? It's totally not expected and unequivocally awesome.

In an interview with Darren Aronofsky, he referred to this film as being not a drug movie, but a movie about broken dreams. While I don't necessarily agree with that because every single character develops some kind of addiction, one of the things I love about this film is that it gets back to the root and inherent causes of the addictions. You can't mask an addiction to heroin by saying that once you leave, it will go away. Aronofsky paints a beautiful and dark picture of what happens when you hold onto your dreams so much that you lose all sense of what's really happening. At its heart, this movie is about denial of one's addictions. I love the scene in which the mother is dancing around the living room in front of the TV wearing her "stardom" dress. In my opinion, it's one of the most brilliantly cut scenes of all time because of how much we get sucked in to her own fucked up world through the visual effects, but Ellen Burstyn's acting takes us out of that world because we can observe her in a third party way.

My one criticism of this movie is the lack of resolution. I would say that that's typical Aronofsky, but Pi was totally resolved at the end, and so was the Wrestler. I just felt that a subject matter such as the one above should have a fucking conclusive ending, whether it be happy or sad.

I reviewed this because it was on the list for the November 1001 Movie Club Reviews, even though I just joined and therefore won't start until December. But I say fuck rules, so I'm posting it for you all to read. I'll be official some other time and it will be just peachy.


The Movie Mistress


  1. Pi was insane! I heart that movie.

    I think Requiem is one of the better movies made in it's time, but it goes down as one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen. I've only sat threw it two entire times. It's too terrible and lingers too long afterwards.

  2. Very, very true. I watched it for the first time and paid attention to the story, and then when I watched it again I had to give myself something to focus on so I wouldn't feel incredibly depressed, so I watched it just for the visual effects, which are actually pretty stunning. Then, once I hadn't seen it in a while, I watched it again to review it. Three times is enough for the next few years until I block out what happened.

  3. Favorite movie ever.

    I haven't watched it since my son was born ---i think I must again.

  4. I know some people who are going through a lot of trouble regarding drugs so this video would really help them a lot, and the recovery would take place sooner than expected.