Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem For A Dream" is easily one of the bleakest and most depressing films I have ever seen. It's not the first film to deal with the subject of drug addiction, neither will it be the last, but it is one of the best. It tells the story of four people, and how they fall deeper and deeper into the dark abyss of drug abuse.
Ellen Burstyn, excited about 'being on television', who becomes addicted to prescription diet pills, and starts suffering from paranoia and hallucinations. Jared Leto, her son, who is addicted to heroin, and is driven to inject it even when his arm is infected. Jennifer Connelly, his girlfriend, who starts selling herself to support her drug habits. And Marlon Wayans, who just wants to be a good son to his mother, and ends up a drug addict.
The movie is brilliantly made, the background score haunting, and the rapid montage scenes wonderfully executed. Each performance is stunning in its own way. Burstyn's performance is probably the most powerful, you can't help but feel pity at her transformation, from her normal self to an emaciated woman with smudged makeup, and eyes wide with fear at the refrigerator jumping out at her.
Yes, the movie has its faults and shortcomings, it even has a few mistakes, but what movie doesn't? There is a tendency to go over-the-top, but didn't Kubrick do the same with A Clockwork Orange?
The last half-hour of the film is very intense. It shows the crumbling of relationships, the dehumanization of the characters, and finally the utter wretchedness that they have brought upon themselves. The drug-use scenes are wonderfully done, the focus of the pupils, the snorting of cocaine, and the puff of weed.
And lastly, the ending of the movie. It doesn't end on a happy note- but therein lies the message of the film. Drugs Are Bad. If You Don't Control Your Addiction, It'll Control You. The ending of the movie left me shaken up. I've never smoked or done drugs in my life, I've never felt the slightest inclination to, and this movie has made me even more firm in my stance.
Requiem For A Dream is depressing. Disturbing. Powerful. Grim. And completely unforgettable.
I wonder if I shall have the courage to watch it again.