Write descriptive essay about Requiem for a Dream movie 2000, write an essay of at least 500 words on Requiem for a Dream, 5 paragraph essay on Requiem for a Dream, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Requiem for a Dream
Year:
2000
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Darren Aronofsky
Ellen Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb
Jared Leto as Harry Goldfarb
Jennifer Connelly as Marion Silver
Marlon Wayans as Tyrone C. Love
Christopher McDonald as Tappy Tibbons
Janet Sarno as Mrs. Pearlman
Suzanne Shepherd as Mrs. Scarlini
Joanne Gordon as Mrs. Ovadia
Charlotte Aronofsky as Mrs. Miles
Mark Margolis as Mr. Rabinowitz
Michael Kaycheck as Donut Cop (as Mike Kaycheck)
Jack O'Connell as Corn Dog Stand Boss
Storyline: Drugs. They consume mind, body and soul. Once you're hooked, you're hooked. Four lives. Four addicts. Four failures. Despite their aspirations of greatness, they succumb to their addictions. Watching the addicts spiral out of control, we bear witness to the dirtiest, ugliest portions of the underworld addicts reside in. It is shocking and eye-opening but demands to be seen by both addicts and non-addicts alike.
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Reviews
Good Lord!
I was tempted to title this "Drugs are bad, mm'kay?" because "Requiem" was so sad I was desperate to inject some humor. Man, what a sad, scary, excellent, grim, disturbing, well-made movie. The more I read about RFAD and learned, the more fascinating it seemed. I'm one of those people who, upon hearing a movie is extremely shocking, has a burning urge to see it as fast as possible to see if it shocks me (especially unrated or NC-17), since I'm pretty jaded. So, I eagerly anticipated seeing it.

Unfortunately, I read so much about the making of the movie that I knew a little too much about the plot going in, so there were few plot surprises. "Requiem" concerns four addicts. Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly play a young loving couple, Harry and Marion, who dabble in heroin and plan to make a big sale with their friend Tyrone (Shawn Wayans) so they can be set for life and Marion can start her own business. Their recreational drug use turns into day-to-day addiction, and things start to get ugly. VERY ugly. Ellen Burstyn plays Harry's mother Sarah, a lonely widow who wants to lose weight to fit into a red dress to appear on her favorite TV show. She starts out addicted to TV and candy, but has the bad luck to visit a doctor who-in what I thought was the only unrealistic aspect-gives her an RX for 'diet pills', that turn out to be speed. I say unrealistic because, as anyone who's ever worked in the medical profession knows, few doctors will write a new patient a huge prescription for extremely powerful, addictive controlled substances without even an exam.

I found her story thread the most memorable and heartbreaking. Sarah takes her pills and starts losing weight, plus suddenly becoming energetic and chatty. Like any addictive drug, her happy blue pills stop working after prolonged use, so she ups her dose more...and more...and things slowly start getting very weird and scary. In one of the best scenes midway through, Harry visits her --the only visit where he doesn't openly steal her TV to pawn for dope. He's briefly riding high (in more ways than one) and announces he bought her a big-screen TV; he wanted to do something nice for her and figured out that "TV is her fix". He looks uneasy when she's babbling happily about how she has a reason to get up in the morning, then he hears her grinding her teeth, and figures it out ...the first time in the movie you see real fear in his eyes. Sarah soon starts having very scary strung-out hallucinations-starting out with subtle things like time woozily slowing down and speeding back up, and when her refrigerator suddenly starts moving on its own, the real nightmare begins. An aggressive fridge may sound Monty Python-esque now, but trust me, you won't be smiling by the end of the movie.

One review I read said that the movie not only pulls the rug out from under you, it drags you and the rug down a long flight of stairs into a very dark basement. Another reviewer compared the experience of watching the film to a drug, and that's not too far off the mark either. Whenever a character gets high, there's a slam-bang fast-cut montage of the same images over and over; a sigh, a pupil dilating, cells changing color. The description I probably agree with most came from Aronofsky himself; he compared the film to a jump from a plane without a parachute, and the movie ends three minutes after you hit the ground. The last few minutes that show the gruesome, depressing, worst-case-scenario fates of all four characters are just as intense, hard to watch, and nightmarish as I heard they were. I don't think I will ever forget Harry's mother's transformation from a harmless, plump, friendly older woman to someone so frightening looking that people cringe away in fear and revulsion at the sight of her.

My only complaints would be that I wished there was more time for character development. The film is divided into 3 segments, Summer (things going fine, having fun getting high) Fall (the beginning of the downhill slide) and Winter (end of the line). I would've liked more scenes of what these people and their lives were like before addiction, as well as their relationships with each other. The cast is stellar- Wayans shows that he has the most range and talent of the Wayans bros- I laughed so hard at him in Don't Be A Menace that I ended up buying it, but here ...wow. I would've liked to see more of his character. I never liked Leto much before, but he's excellent and also almost unrecognizable (he dropped 1/5 of his weight for the role and oh, it shows). Connelly I actively disliked before, but I was very impressed and now know she can act. Burstyn gives the performance of a lifetime- not only convincing, but dedicated enough to let the filmmakers make her look like absolute and total hell; few actresses over 55 would probably be as fearless.

Not recommended if you're easily shocked, squeamish, or upset. If you only like movies that take you to a happy place, stay away. Everyone who left the movie theater looked like they had just been hit over the head with a very large board, and we all who knew what we were getting into. Recommended for those who want to see a movie that will completely overtake you and involve you emotionally. In addition, this film should be required viewing for everyone in the fashion industry that supported/glorified that whole 'heroin chic' crap. Also a good movie if you are having some problems in your life and want to put them in perspective VERY fast. 9 out of 10 stars. I'll probably never look at my fridge quite the same again...
2000-11-17
Laughable melodrama
Yet another highly praised "hard hitting" film that turns out to be quite frankly rubbish. Clever editing can't disguise the fact that this turns out to be little more than "Reefer Madness" in fashionable clothes. As inaccurate about the drug milieu as it is about psychiatry (ECT is done on anaethetized subjects - but obviously that does not film as well). Abysmally written and acted - Ellen Burstyns performance is straight out of a 40's b-movie. Immature and flashy - which probably explains the quite ridiculous IMDB grading.
2003-02-23
Bad Trip
Keep on playing those mind games forever! What a wasted of a talented cast giving their all from top to bottom. But this that wants to prove how hip it is by plotting the most senses-assaulting grizzly death possible for its characters, and the drug trips the audiences are put through are all bad. So, in the end, all this talent is wasted.
2001-06-16
Way, way, way over rated
SPOILERS

I was told this movie is really depressing, but in order for that to be true I would've had to watch a movie with engaging characters. Guess what? I couldn't empathize with any of these losers, because they were flat, one-dimensional and pathetic. Most stories of drug addiction give us some glimpse of a character's potential for success--their charm, their attractiveness, their intelligence, a successful career or academic promise--and then show it all going down the drain. Or maybe we'll see why they turned to drugs, what their problems were, what they need to escape. Here we get none of that. In this movie they start as loser/addicts and end as loser/addicts. Everyone gets what he and she deserves. Some initially neat camera and editing work that gets old very quickly--would've been cool in a music video, but that's about it. Why does Hubert Selby Jr. have to end all his movies with women whoring themselves in especially degrading ways (cf. Last Exit to Brooklyn)? 3/10
2004-08-29
awful
Oh my God, this is one of the worst movie I've ever seen in my life. I usually am a very impatient person, but while I was watching this movie, I've had a lot of patience. I was thinking that the end would be something unexpected, but it was such a big waste of time, AND BELIEVE ME.. I HATE WASTING MY TIME. I don't usually write a review, but because of this failure I have to. Such an ordinary, mediocre and embarrassing movie. The plot of the movie was awful, and again..AWFUL. The actors didn't act like they're supposed to act. Oh, and I saw that the movie was based on a story of a book, and I have to tell that the author of this book is dumb.
2015-09-26
Should Be Required Viewing
After watching this for first time, I thought to myself, "Wow, with some appropriate editing, this ought to be required viewing for high school students as it's probably one of the best "anti-drug" presentations one could ever see.

Young filmmaker Darren Aronofsky takes a depressing subject and makes it fun to watch, if that's possible. However, I'm speaking in general terms because - warning - a couple of scenes are anything but fun to view. Aronofsky uses stop- action/fast forward techniques, sound effects, hallucination scenes, etc. all to make this a good movie for the senses.

Ellen Burstyn is outstanding in this film and many people who viewed this thought she should have won an Academy Award for her performance. Boy, if she doesn't scare you away from taking diet pills, nobody can. She's the only one in this film that is actually fun to watch. Jennifer Connelly can be one easily ogled by us guys but she plays so many sleazy, unlikeble roles, it's tough to warm up to her.

Jared Leto, meanwhile, does his best to show us the horrors of what could happen when you hooked on junk which involves needles. In the last 30 minutes there are a few horrifying parts as Leto's infected arm gets worse and worse. People who have seen this film know what I'm talking about, It is grim, very grim but maybe that's what all of us need to see once in awhile.

To watch Bursteyn and Leto slowly disintegrate is unforgettable and for Aronofsky to make this watchable was quite a feat. But for the grace of God, as it is said, one of these characters could be us.
2006-03-07
Shattering expose of the fallible human condition.
What to say about Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream that hasn't been said already? Without doubt it's a film, that in spite of its high standing on the main movie sites, polarises opinions. It's a film that in simple terms follows four people through their addictions until the shattering denouement, but the journey is made more bleak by offering tantalising snatches of hope, the dreams of the protags offered up as some sort of goals for the addicts to cling on to - only for the narrative to stick in its rusty serrated blade to draw the lifeblood from the hapless hopefuls.

Arononfsky brings a multitude of technical skills to the party that emphasise the emotional discord on show. Standard split-screening is married up with rapid cutting, isolated framing, close ups, long tracking and Snorricam, all of which is sound tracked by Clint Mansell's haunting musical composition. All told it's an assault on all the senses and terrifying with it, boosted no end by Aronofsky getting top performances from his cast of actors. Love it or hate it, it's a film that simply can't be ignored, unsparing cinema produced by a most gifted director. 9/10
2015-06-13
Awful and Essential
I'm not going to waste space with a synopsis, as every second or third review provides one. A good indication of a challenging and original film is the number of 1/10 and 10/10 reviews, where the 1/10 reviews consist of just a few lines. A pretty sure sign that those folks weren't able or willing to watch with an open mind. Which is a good sign for casual viewers to give this film a wide berth.

I wish everyone I care about would see Requiem for a Dream. Not because they will like it, or that it will teach them something they did not already know, but that it's a rare piece of work that will challenge and probably change them. It's a film that has never been made before, with nothing to compare to it - a rarity these days. I often find myself recommending films to people that I am unable to briefly describe. These are usually the most involving and affecting ones. I'd like my family to see this, but can't *recommend* it to them. I've recommended it to two friends, and they both had the same reaction: I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I'll be in the frame of mind to watch it again, knowing what you feel.

As I sat watching the credits roll, I began crying, but I'm still not sure why. Partly in reaction to the devastatingly tragic ending, partly the beauty (yes) of the film, partly my gratitude for good things in my life. I watched it again the same night with my girlfriend, not because I wanted to upset her, but I felt that I had to share it. After the credits rolled, we both were silent for a good ten minutes. I found that I had thoughts I wanted to express, but could find no words. This is one of the few films that are painful to experience, but I feel compelled to share with people I care about. Some others in that short list include The Thin Red Line, Happiness, River's Edge,and The Deer Hunter.

These films all share a quality that's difficult to name. No one likes feeling disturbed or shattered by a film, a work of art, a piece of music, but I feel experiencing these emotions and being asked to think, not just be entertained, is important now and then.

"Favorite" does not apply to this for me - this isn't about entertainment. One of the most devastating and beautiful experiences I've had watching a film. One of the top five films I've ever seen.

2002-11-25
when dreams and nightmares collide...
My God! "Requiem for a Dream" (2000), what a movie! It's always difficult to write reviews about perfect movies but I'm going to try. First, there are three adjectives which come to my mind to describe this movie and they're the ones which everyone thinks of: powerful, harrowing and heart-breaking and certain sequences remain engraved in the memories like for example, Jared Leto's wounded arm caused by drug.

To watch "Requiem for a Dream" is like being punched in the face. It's the kind of movie which can't leave indifferent. It is impossible to come out of this horrifying movie unharmed. It was made by a young director Darren Aronofsky whose previous movie "Pi" (1998) was very hailed. I must admit that I wasn't fully convinced by this indie movie but here, without a doubt, the director entirely hypnotized me and I thank him for that.

The movie was made from a novel written by Hubert Selby Jr. It isn't the first time that a work from this novelist is adapted for the screen. Indeed, in 1989, Uli Edel had shot "Last Exit to Brooklyn" which developed a nightmarish and apocalyptic vision of a mankind who lived in hell. Here, the movie focuses on 4 main characters. There's Harry Goldfarb. He, his girlfriend Marion Silver and his best mate Tyrone C Love plan to become high-rolling smack dealers. In the meantime, his mother Sarah Goldfarb has got her head in the clouds. She received a call and she learned that she's going to appear on television. At the beginning of the film, the 4 characters' hopes amazingly answers the shiny weather of the summer. But as we usually say: best things have an end. Summer will go away to leave place to fall and winter. Just like the dreams will slowly but surely shatter and the 4 main protagonists will embark on an endless suffering. A vertiginous descent into hell like we have never seen one and which will reach its climax in winter in the last half-hour of the movie. From this moment, the film presents a flood of incredible pictures; they are so painful so much that they make the view unbearable. However, you watch it flabbergasted with both repulsion and fascination.

Darren Aronofsky invites us to a climbing in the morbid. "Requiem for a Dream" strikes by its visual and sonorous frenzy. Through, accelerated frenetic sequences, hysterical split-screens, parallel images, the director doesn't pull his punches to describe this diving in absolute horror for the 4 characters. However, in his crazy making, there's none form of unwarranted nature. The features previously quoted may be disturbing but necessary to answer several things which aren't pleasant to hear like for example, to denounce the omnipresence of the consumer society. These abuses express themselves, here, by the crushing presence of objects, perfectly representative of this society like the television or the refrigerator. The another goals of the film: to make us share the physical and moral sufferings of a drug addict, notably through the deterioration of their visual and sonorous perceptions. But also to show us in a straight-forward and rough way, the dependence of a drug addict on his drug. Aronofsky's message is simple to understand. There's not only the drug like cocaine or amphetamines that make dependent but also simple objects apparently harmless which can become dangerous like the television or the refrigerator. They can destroy our faculties of reasoning and judgment. In a way "Requiem for a Dream" illustrates very well Brad Pitt's key cue in "Fight Club" (1999): "things you own end up owning you...". On the other hand, if we put the stress on drug, the least we can say is that the moments of shooting, the withdrawal times are showed with a realism and bluntness rarely reached. True, "Trainspotting" (1996) had already presented similar scenes but Darren Aronofsky isn't afraid to go further in daring.

It would be unfair to neglect the terrific cast. Beginning with Ellen Burstyn who in all respects gives a dazzling performance. She renders very well the degeneration of her character. In the beginning, she is a normal old lady but in the end, she looks like a senseless living dead. Why didn't she get her Oscar in 2001 instead of Julia Roberts in "Erin Brockovich" (2000)? Then, concerning Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly well their sensitiveness and fragility are impressive. But the biggest surprise is Marlon Wayans. Who could have thought that he could be at ease in a comic role (Scary Movie) as well as in a dramatic role? These 4 actors make particularly harrowing the very last sequences of the film which show them forever in the depths of despair or madness where pain, humiliation and misery suffer into them. And then, during the final credits, we can hear the sea with a little of relief as if we had just made a nightmare.

But what is extraordinary in Aronofsky's work is that he manages to find a little place for humor which acts in an efficient way. In conclusion, this young film-maker has shot a film with a real emotional power. I must confess that I almost shed a tear several times. "Requiem for a Dream" is a movie I highly recommend but beware! It's not a movie for everyone and for the spectators who didn't watch it, I advise you not to see it if you are in a sad mood. It demands a strong stomach and I think the people who say they weren't afraid during the projection are liars. Don't forget your handkerchief.
2005-02-20
Don't believe the tripe!
While the trailer for this movie was seductive, most notably for its MTV-style quick shots from the film & music, actually watching it was an experience in torture. This film is one big cliche. Perhaps US raver kids (born after 1980) who have never seen a good film might find this to be "different" & "unusual", but for anyone that's seen non-US or pre-1980 films, this film is one big bore. It's presentation of drug use is no more complex or realistic than the "This is your brain on drugs" PSAs that graced US television sets more than a decade ago. If you're into stream-of-consciousness & lots of style in your drug film check out "Naked Lunch", If you're into the drama & humor of it all then check out "Trainspotting", or if you need a dose of pessimism & reality then check out "Drugstore Cowboy". Hell, even "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" is better than this mess. The acting is awful, especially Ellen Burstyn. I was never convinced that her over-the-top performance was anything but acting....if you really want to see a food performance from her check out "The Last Picture Show". What irks me most about the film is that its MTV-style quick cuts & soundtrack really mask the fact that there is really nothing to it. I could have spent the 90 or so minutes I wasted watching it doing something more productive...like my laundry. By far the most boring drug movie I have ever seen. Advisory: take some caffeine or amphetamines first if you want to stay awake to the ending.
2001-09-23
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