Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R   |    |  Drama


Requiem for a Dream (2000) Poster

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

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8.3/10
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  • Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Ellen Burstyn and Darren Aronofsky in Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Jacqueline Bisset at an event for Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Jared Leto at an event for Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto in Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Darren Aronofsky at an event for Requiem for a Dream (2000)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


8 April 2002 | bshsfo
8
| Punishing and Unforgettable
I respect and admire this movie, even though (and perhaps because) it is complex, occasionally irritating and often very hard to take. Frankly, I avoided seeing it for a long time, but now am glad I did. To complain that the film fails as a realistic portrayal of addiction is, I think, to miss the point. Far from being the mere depiction of a collective downward spiral fueled by drugs, the movie is in fact a meditation on loneliness, greed, corruption, desperation, and the pervasiveness/banality of media, among many other things.

The subtleties of the text are communicated, first and foremost, by superb acting. The performances of Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans are all revelatory. In particular, I was knocked out by Burstyn, who is almost comically pathetic in the beginning, but who manages by the end to convey her character's utter devastation in the truest, most heartbreaking manner imaginable. The others are absolutely perfect as well; I was simply astonished by Leto and especially Wayans (may he eschew "scary movies" forevermore). Connelly has perhaps the most difficult role in the film, with opportunity and motivation galore to go over the top, and she delivers not a single false note throughout.

My only real quibbles with the movie have to do with certain instances of the split-screen and jump-cut techniques, which struck me as somewhat gimmicky and repetitious, respectively. That being said, overall the style of the film is impressive and appropriate. The cinematography is beautifully conceived and executed, and the score is every bit as haunting as the performances (thanks largely to the work of the Kronos Quartet).

In sum, regardless of whether or not the subject matter itself shocks you, this movie will put the viewer through the proverbial wringer. Give it a chance, and you will connect with the characters and then witness their destruction (spiritual and otherwise). It is a punishing but unforgettable experience. I'm not sure whether I'd necessarily recommend it or not; it all depends on your personal tolerance level with regard to an unflinching portrayal of human nature and behavior at their most extreme and, ultimately, tragic. For my part, while I don't expect to watch this film very often in the future, I'm sure glad it'll be on the shelf.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around 1 hour 16 minutes) When Marion calls Big Tim, there is a shot of his phone number on a piece of paper. It was not the standard "555-" number used in movies. They were able to get away with this because only six digits of the phone number are visible. However, if you listen carefully, Tyrone does speak all seven digits. But after the scene where Harry is with the doctor, Marion turns over the photograph of her and Harry, revealing the full telephone number.


Quotes

Mr. Rabinowitz: Good afternoon, Mrs. Goldfarb.
Sara Goldfarb: Good afternoon, Mr. Rabinowitz, although I'm not so sure how good it is.


Goofs

(at around 12 mins) When Sara is trying on the red dress but it won't zip up all the way, in the mirror behind her you can see the 'fat suit' used to give Ellen Burstyn the larger appearance.


Crazy Credits

Ending Credits look like a syringe while scrolling.


Alternate Versions

In the opening credits for the edited version, when the title card "Requiem for a Dream" crashes down, underneath it is a red box with red lettering that reads "edited version", making it clear to the viewer that they are not seeing the true version of the film.


Soundtracks

Bugs' Got a Devilish Grin Conga
Performed by The Moonrats
Marcel Reginatto - Saxophone, Vocals
Brian Emrich - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Oscar Oñoz - Trumpet, Vocals
Theodore Birkey - Keyboards, Vocals
Tico Torres (as Hector Torres) - Percussion, Vocals
Darren Aronofsky - Vocals
Engineered, Programmed and Mixed by James Murphy for DFA at Plantain Recording House NYC

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