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Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Pi is a movie which exposes not only the terror caused by addiction of any kind--be it TV or Heroin--but also offers a powerful insight into the destruction caused by the desire to achieve "the American Dream". Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr, the film sacrifices dialogue in favour of imagery and movement: the editing and cinematography are reminiscent of MTV, however the movie takes this very aggressive style and moulds it to its own needs, adding a beautifully haunting narrative and powerful performances by its four main characters (Burstyn just missing out on an Oscar for Best female lead to Julia Roberts). Ultimately the viewer is left with a sense of desperation and despair: Requiem for a Dream exposes drugs and addiction in the most powerful and truthful way a film has ever managed, leaving no stone unturned.
On the DVD: This disc is bursting with excellent special features. The anamorphic widescreen picture makes the most of the film's stylish visuals, and the soundtrack offers choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0. As well as offering the obligatory theatrical trailer, scene selection and a fantastic director's commentary, there's also a "making-of" featurette, TV trailers charting the reviews and success of the film, an "Anatomy of a scene", and a wide range of deleted scenes. By far the best feature is Hubert Selby Jr's interview with Ellen Burstyn, which offers the writer a chance to put across not just his opinions on his work but also on life as a whole. All these features are placed within an impressively formatted menu. --Nikki Disney
There are many great films, but what separates the great from the truly great are those that are completely unique, as is this one. I purchased this dvd on a limb and unsure what to expect, but from the outset the picture showed me a new cinematic language in its montage imagery, pacing, editing and what is surely one of the most brutally moving scores ever composed.
Aside from these, the film is unique in its honesty. Yes it is supremely dark in its subject matter and climax and thank god for it. For too long Hollywood has felt the need to produce pleasant, hopeful comfort film and neglected from portraying what is in many cases the unpleasant reality of life for so many people. In the real world lives get messed up and they dont always get better, sometimes they stay messed up, and finally we have a director, writer and studio prepared to admit this. The result is a film that many will reject and despise, because it challenges the shell that protects us and our enclosed existence from the reality of what is all around us, but a film that ought to be experienced, and treasured by those who appreciate what makes a great film.
To see 'requiem for a dream' is draining, exhausting and exhilarating, but it is not depressing. Several times i have watched this picture and found myself strangely uplifted, a downbeat emotion that very few films have ever aroused in me.Read more ›
The cast is amazing. Ellen Burstyn's TV addicted, speed taking mother was robbed of an Oscar by Julia Roberts' frumpy, irritating Erin Brokovich. She gives one of the most emotional performances you will ever see, her passionate monologue about what it's like to be old, and her paranoid acting makes you truly believe that acting is an art. Jared Leto, as her drug addicted son, also gives very worthy performance as does Jennifer Connely as his girlfriend. Marlon Wayans, too, delivers an amazing and serious performance that belies his slapstick comedy notoriety.
But this is a director's film; Aronofsky pulls out every directing trick in the book to make this a truly original experience. The shot of an overjoyed Sara Goldfarb as she runs out of her apartment and walks across the street with her old female friends as the camera swoons in front of them, creating a strangely eerie shot is one example. But it is the editing that shines, Aronofsky never leaves the viewer board with his unique style of hiphop montage editing and special effects.
The music in this film also shines, the classical score is wonderfully composed and highly dramatic in a film which demands it so heavily.
Although disturbing, this is a film that everyone should see, it is full of great acting, editing and truly memorable story.