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February 10, 2007

Movies: Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Screenplay by Hubert Selby Jr.
Starring Ellen Burnstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, and Marlon Wayans

You can view the trailer here: Trailer

Let me just start out by saying that I love this movie.  Requiem for a Dream is a film about the realities of drug abuse, from speed pills to heroine.  It is about four characters’, Sara (Ellen Burnstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly), along with Harry’s loyal friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), path to drug addiction along with their downfall.  Each of these characters have reachable dreams and aspirations but are all stopped in their tracks due to their dependence on drugs.  The film takes place in Coney Island, Brooklyn and there could not have been a better place for this film.  Coney Island serves as the perfect backdrop for this drama by acting as enabler for each of the character’s addiction.  The streets of Coney Island are slowly waning along with the lives of the characters. 

Furthermore, the cast is outstanding.  Yes, Marlon Wayans is not known for his serious roles, but in this film he delivers.  It is by far his best performance that I have seen him yet.  And the rest of the cast’s reputations speak for themselves, including two Oscar award winners (Burnstyn and Connelly).  The direction by Arnofsky in this film is nothing like I have ever seen in a film.  It is weird, it is crazy, but it works.  He successfully captures both the blissfulness of the characters when they are high and also more importantly the struggles of their next fix.         

However, the main reason why I love this film is not the stellar cast, the unique and distinct directing of Darren Aronofsky, or the setting, but the blunt and very “in your face” message that the film conveys about drugs.  The filmmakers are very raw and hold nothing back in portraying the struggles, temptations, and obsessions of the character’s drug addiction.  I have yet to see a film with such a blunt message about drugs.  Other filmmakers will tend to steer away from such grotesque topics but Arnofsky and Selby Jr. do not shy away one bit.  They keep it real and I love it.       

Posted by vatran at February 10, 2007 02:18 PM

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