“Getting the money’s not the problem, Harry,” said Marion.
Darren Aronofsky is always at his best take when acknowledging his characters as some neurotic, troubled human being with certain kinds of paranoia and dilemma. At least that works with his strong direction—resulting in some eloquent figures in cinematic history.
One must not forget how Russel Crow as Noah with his paranoia of not obeying The Creator; or Natalie Portman won Oscar for her troubled Swan Lake ballerina;or Mickey Rourke got his career back on track for his troubled, aged wrestler; or Hugh Jackman as troubled consquistador, vet, and baldie at once. They’re all OBVIOUSLY troubled characters.
Requiem For A Dream, Aronofsky’s early work prior to what I mentioned previously is an initial sum-up of Aronofsky’s penchant to depict those troubled characters. DRUGS ADDICTION is, however, a perfect companion to mount up those poor, troubled characters. Focusing on four interrelated characters battling their own drugs addiction, Aronofsky depicts how the addiction going very subjectively but, interestingly, honest.
Relying much on hip-hop montage—that feels like giving urgency to the tripping moment—and strong visuals of what the characters want during their addiction, even what they fear upon the addiction. Starting from some collapsed ambition to some derogating addiction; then they needed money or more drugs making a chain of desperation, which Aronofsky crafted just like he wanted the audience to feel sympathetic as well as eerie to what the characters felt.
Aronofsky’s rapid fire to make strong imagery of the psychotic horror is effortlessly fueled by strong performances from his four minions of trouble. Ellen Burstyn is almost recognizable as an aged, obese mother is as terrific as her on-screen son portrayed by Jared Leto. Obviously, Leto is not alone—he’s with Jennifer Connelly, who unleashed her beast, and Marlon Wayans, with relieving comic persona that hits hard. Seriously, with performance that strong, audiences are pushed to swallow the uncomfortable feeling witnessing those characters’ fate.
What I like most from Requiem For A Dream:
- All strong imagery of the addiction, incl. the living refrigerator
- Ellen Burstyn’s hidden persona; Jared Leto’s son-of-a-mom guilty pleasure performance
- Jennifer Connelly’s let-alone breakthrough performance—which worth her performance in any later movie incl. American Beauty
- Aronofsky’s stick to the plan: troubled characters
What I do not like from Requiem For A Dream:
- Director’s lack of sympathy to the characters (which is kinda personal to me)
FINAL VERDICT: Requiem For A Dream is a drug-addicting drug addiction movie combined with in-depth character study. Fueled by strong performances by its quartets and exceptional direction by Aronofsky, along with strong visuals that might crawl upon audience’s skins for a long time.
Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Drama Directed by: Darren Aronofsky Written by: Hubert Selby Jr., Darren Aronofsky Starred by: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans Runtime: 102 mins Rated R for intense depiction of drug addiction, graphic sexuality, strong language and some violence
This movie review of Requiem For A Dream is written by Paskalis Damar in conjunction with Ryan McNeill’s The Matinee Blindspot series.