Darren Aronofsky Retrospective Part 2: Requiem for a Dream

- Advertisement -


Requiem for a Dream

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Written by Hubert Selby Jr.

2000, USA

The apotheosis of ADD. MTV-era filmmaking, Requiem for a Dream is designed to divide. Its mathematically precise editing and histrionic message-driving makes it perhaps the shrillest anti-drug movie of any age, yet its hyperbolic sense of terror and frenetic rhythms manage not to obscure its less obvious gifts. It announces its creator as a force to be reckoned with, even if some will rightly take issue with the film’s combustible content.

Presenting the addict’s progression as a seasonal process, Requiem is divided into “Spring,” “Summer,” “Fall,” and “Winter,” with each segment more perilous than the last. Our victims are young, handsome Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto); his jittery mother Sara (a devastating Ellen Burstyn); his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans in a rare dramatic role) and his loving girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly). Harry and Tyrone are small-time hoods with a taste for heroin, itching to get a line on becoming sellers, Marion is collateral damage, and Sara is privately developing an extreme dependence on “uppers” (speed) after being led to believe she is to appear on her favorite TV show, a vacuous serial infomercial hosted by an odious shill (Christopher MacDonald).

Requiem has only one mode (hyperactive) and only one direction (down). Even in scenes where characters aren’t doping themselves up, splitscreen is frequently invoked, along with garish lighting and dialogue that foreshadows doom with the subtlety of Alice Cooper’s wardrobe. Clint Mansell’s iconic score, performed with the Kronos Quartet, elaborates and contorts a couple of memorable themes into increasingly desperate shapes. All four leads are cast to engender maximum audience empathy, and thereby inflict maximum emotional damage when they collapse into the film’s climactic montage, an extended nightmare involving electro-shock therapy, invasive surgery, and a party favor that must surely count as one of the nastiest visions in movie history.

Yet, for its shameless machinations, it’s impossible to deny that Requiem possesses a rare power and vitality. Aronofsky tends to coax out great performances, and Burstyn in particular astonishes, with the help of excellent technical work that effectively transforms her from a paragon of positive thinking to something scarcely resembling a person. Even as he nicks a shot from Perfect Blue, subdivides the screen into eternity, and yanks on every possible heartstring, Aronofsky (and by extension, collaborator Mansell, whose role in tying the film together cannot be overstated) prove, if only through blunt force, that he can go toe-to-toe with any current filmmaker in terms of ambition and technical prowess.

– Simon Howell

Next

Previous





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
The cast of Married...With Children
25 Little-Known Facts about Married…With Children TV Show
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
26 Different Types of Onions
4 Different Types of Cauliflower (Plus Health Benefits)
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores
>