Requiem for a Dream (2001)

Dir. Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Damon Wayans, Jennifer Connolly, etc.

I know Marc hated this film. I don’t think I would recommend this to others, except for maybe Grace, who wants to see all of Aronofsky’s stuff. I think Penny, Mitchell, Kevin, Chris, Tony and John would find this interesting on some level, but I don’t feel confident recommending this to them. Jill, Larri, Don and Joel would not enjoy this.

I think I’ve seen most of Aronofsky’s films, and if I had to describe him I call him a talented, but pretentious filmmaker. This film does not change that. Because of the creative use of editing and camera work, I enjoyed watching this film. There always seems to be something going on with filmmaking techniques to dazzle you. In that way, he reminds me of Danny Boyle. Indeed, a short description of the film could be a darker version of Trainspotting. That film made drug addiction almost glamorous, whereas this film does just the opposite, not only with drug addiction, but addiction in general. But the film is pretentious in the way that it attempts to make a serious statement about addiction, but seems to say little beyond was it is obvious. I believe Marc hated it because it seemed so nihilistic, and I agree it is bleak, and if audiences leave asking themselves what was the point, I would sympathize.


Regarding *Requiem* I hated it because I felt miserable coming out of the movie. This may be a SPOILER…

but everyone’s life is destroyed in this movie. In vivid and graphic detail. Everyone’s. When I talked about that being the reason that I hated the flick with Jon Abe, he pointed out that perhaps that what Aronofsky was trying to achieve, and therefore the movie could be viewed as a success. I will grant anyone that point, but I have no interest in seeing this type of movie successful or otherwise. In some ways, *Revolutionary Road* is similar and that may be why I disliked that movie as well. I’ve noted before that I really enjoy movies in which tension is created and resolved effectively. The tension can vary in many ways: dramatic, dangerous, romantic, comedic, visual… whatever. But to me, movies like *Requiem* or *Reservation* are artsy ways of depicting destruction and hammering a message home with a sledgehammer. No thanks.

I understand Marc’s negative reaction to the film. I didn’t care for it myself, but not because the film was merely an “artsy way of depicting destruction…” My impression is that Aronofsky wanted to say something insightful about addiction, specifically in American society–perhaps demonstrating the equivalence between drug addiction and other socially acceptable addictions, i.e. weight loss, coffee consumption, greed, etc. My problem was that I didn’t find the connections or observations very revelatory.

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