Requiem for a Dream [DVD] 
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Emotional drama set in Coney Island, New York about the lives and aspirations of four people compromised by drug abuse. Stars Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto as mother and son.
Fantasy mixes with the harsh reality of addiction and the desire for hope in Requiem for a Dream. Beginning at the dawn of a new summer in Coney Island, the film charts the relationship of Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) and her son Harry (Jared Leto)--two characters who are lost with in a world of the self-absorbed desire to feed their addictions at the cost of hope and love. With a sublime score (performed by the Kronos Quartet) accompanying some intense visual imagery, the film sets up an almost fairy-tale wash over the characters' lives, with every hit of their chosen drug turning them into beautiful people surrounded by a haze which enhances all their features. However, unlike films such as Trainspotting which turn the dream into a nightmare then end with a huge dose of hope, Requiem for a Dream forces the viewer through all loss of hope and the descending madness of reality, as winter begins.
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
As well as the superb cinematography, the film also contains some superb performances from its four stars Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connolly and Marlon Wayans. Indeed, Burstyn was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, though she didn’t win. It is also nice to see Leto in a role where he has more to do than look handsome.
This film is not one to watch when you are feeling a bit down, as it is not in the least bit cheery. I promise it will make you feel worse, as it is heartbreakingly sad to see the lives of the protagonists completely unravelling before their eyes, whilst they keep believing things are soon going to get better. Things don’t get better, they reach rock bottom for all of the characters. No redemption, no happy ending, just one of the best films of the last ten years. Absolutely essential.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's quite difficult to watch and it's not a nice film to watch, difficult with the repeated daily routines, kind of dizzying... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Blued Eyed Pariah
This is one of those films that will have you thinking about it a day or two after watching it. It's haunting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. David S. Byrne
The bluray sent to me was German but I was still able to watch the English version. Very good film nonetheless.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I don't think you're meant to pity the characters in this film - if you've ever known people with a serious addiction, it charts pretty accurately how much of themselves they... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Not what I expected, actually a waste of 2 hours. Awful sound and picture.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Discs obviously aren't checked as this was so badly laser burned. Decided to watch it anyway and it stopped working after half the film. Incredibly frustrating. Read morePublished 2 months ago by MISS N SMITH
Probably the most depressing film I have ever seen and probably one of the best films I have ever seenPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer