Quick recap: Hey, kids: Don’t do drugs!
Fun (?) fact: Most movies contain around 600-700 cuts, but Requiem for a Dream has over 2,000
My thoughts: I have definitely seen Requiem for a Dream before, probably while I was in college. I remember thinking it looked cool and I remember the arm scene, but that’s about it. This time around, it was nearly impossible to look away.
More than anything else, this film is a testament to great editing. Having never done drugs myself, I can’t speak for the authenticity, but watching the characters descend into their various addictions sure felt real. Sara Goldfarb, played by Ellen Burstyn’s story was especially difficult to watch. All of the actors did an exceptional job, but her character was the one that resonated with me most because it was just so sad. All of the other characters (somewhat) knew what they were getting into, but she was just desperate to reclaim some of her youth. The manic scenes, especially the ones when she hallucinated that she was on tv were so realistic, in terms of her downward spiral. The ending with the electroshock therapy was a little ridiculous, but still captivated me.
The story itself, looking back, was a little heavy handed. I mean, it’s a movie so you expect over the top things to happen, but everyone’s ultimate destination seemed more like a morality tale about how drugs are bad for you, m’kay? than anything else and it was difficult to see other points being made. I get that everyone was chasing some sort of dream and the drugs kept them from reaching success, but all I could think about was my DARE class in 5th grade and how showing this movie would’ve had a far deeper impact than those stupid worksheets we had to do. I know 10 different ways to say no when someone offers me heroin, but if an officer had just shown the class a picture of Harry’s arm, he would’ve saved us all a ton of trouble later on down the line.
Final review: 4/5. Stylistically,a near perfect film. Plot-wise, eh.
Up next: White Heat