Movie Review: No 67. Requiem for a Dream

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Movie Review: No 67. Requiem for a Dream

Marion: Anybody wanna waste some time?

Spoiler alert! This movie is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.

Had I a more solid vocabulary I might even have been about to tell you that before I watched it.

req·ui·em/ˈrekwēəm/
Noun
1. (esp. in the Roman Catholic Church) A Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead.
2. A musical composition setting parts of such a Mass, or of a similar character.

In this case, sadly, it is the dreams that meet their untimely demise.

It’s an awful movie. The kind that leaves you in a funk for days. It’s precisely for this reason that I was captivated.

I hated the movie for the effect it had on me, but I have to applaud the fact that it had one. After all the movies I’ve seen now, I’ve become somewhat spoiled and it takes a lot to get my attention. Then again, a cast that included Sarah from the Labyrinth, a Wayans Brother, an emo musician, and Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore, was never likely to disappoint in that regard.

I’m pretty much as square as they come, so the whole world of drugs is a foreign one to me. Nevertheless, I’ve seen enough of its evidence to know that this film gives a pretty damn accurate depiction of what will happen to you if you become addicted to hard drugs. Whether your poison is heroin, speed, or perhaps a “ribwich“, the outcome will be the same. It’s so intensely poignant that they should show this thing in schools to really hammer home the “Just say ‘no’ to drugs” message.

Wait, did I just say they should show this movie in schools?! Somebody lock me up and throw away the key!

I mean, this movie puts the “ick” in “graphic”. You know it’s bad when you’re relieved to witness a bone saw performing a limb amputation.

It’s as depressing as it is horrifying, but for once I was pleased by the artistic use of alternative camera angles and editing. Every little thing that went into this film added to the raw reality it portrayed and for once (at least in my opinion) all of this was done without the sense of directorial self-aggrandisement to which I’ve become accustomed.

I don’t want to oversell the artistic side of this film though. It’s still bloody awful and I can’t tell you enough how much I wish I could un-see it.

Apart from providing me with a window into the seedy underworld of hard drugs, however, the film also opened my eyes to the harsh reality of mental illness and how quickly a perfectly normal life can spiral out of control. The scenes involving Sara’s descent into madness, specifically the scene where she leaves her house and ventures out to the television studio, were gripping. If you’ve ever wondered how a homeless person becomes homeless, just watch this movie (only don’t, because I’d never forgive myself for encouraging you to).

I feel like I have a newfound sense of empathy for people I might previously have feared. I have never seen such a sad story so honestly told. Shame about all the other gruesome stuff around it!

Anyway, since I don’t want to leave you all on the same horrifyingly depressing note as this movie left me, here’s a fun fact from imdb to lighten the mood: “The man peeling the orange (and the orange truck) in the scene where the characters go to receive a new shipment of drugs not only indicates their next destination – Florida – but also serves as a nod to the Godfather films, where the presence of oranges indicated disaster.”

7 orange, disaster-warning pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘Requiem for a Dream’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

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2 responses »

  1. Well I know schizophrenia is a side effect of drug use and your comments of watch/don’t watch this movie probably reflects this!
    PS Time to wrap yourself in foil so the aliens don’t find you!

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