#1  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:03 PM
Requiem for a Dream




Wow.

Initially, my first reaction would not be the word above, but more of a 'been there, done that' mentality that would get nothing more than curiosity out of me. Why? This movie is, basically, with the underlying themes of humanity stripped away, a run-of-the-mill (in theory) drug flick. Yes, drugs are bad, yes they can fuck up your life. Not exactly the most original idea on the market.
This movie has affirmed my belief that execution and a good script can go a long way. A long , million-miles squared way. This movie manages to overcome the hurtles that it's concept has, and is forced to delve into characters, imagery, music, dialogue, and everything in between to deliver a good movie. Whereas many films get a good idea, and believe that is enough; this movie does not have a good idea, or at least anything that is original, but just performs admirably.

For anyone who has ever looked up on this movie, they'll see that, hands down, people get really emotional. This movie is emotional, but I was surprised by two things.
1. The beginning did not involve me on any level
2. The end was the most intense twenty-or-so minutes I have ever seen, on film, period.
The mother/son angle that was heavily built right off the bat did nothing for me. I ended up wondering if, really, this movie could actually tug on your heartstrings. A number of films (The devils backbone, for one), that were supposed to did virtually nothing for me. At all.
Boy, was I wrong.
But it was easy to get that kind of opinion going at the start of Requiem. Because, when everything is said and done, the characters are not that deep. They were not very well developed. Marlon Wayan's character, for instance, has a brief, less than two-minute flashback of his mother, that shows their relationship. That's it--nothing more. Leto's character also has a one-two punch in the form of his relationship to his girlfriend and mother. Not much else--the guy has no past, really. Conneley's character basically defies any conventional personality, and becomes a sort of . . . nothing. She has no recognizeable traits, that would let the viewer connect with the character in the " I know what she would do if (this) happened" way. And the mother? She has the relationship with her son, and enjoys television.
Uh-huh.
But, amazingly, it works. Even more phenominal, is that this movie had the emotional grip of a dying mosquito until the last twenty minutes . . . when it sucker-punched me with a fist made of stone. Suddenly, you feel sorry for all of them, and with a little more of a push, I would've cried my eyes out. I was on the verge of tears, as it was. That is a very startling reaction when you don't have any connection with the characters throughout most of the movie.

There are some flaws. For one, the quick-cuts of the 'dialating eyes' and the general repeated clips in the drug scenes (you'll know what I mean after the movie) get really, really old. One gets the feeling that the director had ADD when filmimg. He's all over the place--sometimes that works, other times it doesn't. Also, as mentioned above, this isn't an original story. This isn't a plot-driven. It's character-driven (despite an obvious lack of character development). And it works.

You noticed I never went into the plot--that's not what this is about. It is imagery, emotions, and a score that'll send you into the depths of sadness. Is it depressing? Not in the slightest. You won't feel that your life sucks, or mope around, or anything like that when the movie is done. You'll just really feel for the characters.
Oh, and one more thing . . .
No matter how amazing this is, it is not, by all means, a movie you'll want to watch over and over again.
I rented it, and so should you.

8/10


* Quick note, I got the edited version. I really don't see what the problem is, but I was just curious as to what the unedited had (the one the director seems to like far better . . . he disowned the edited version). I'm guessing a few nudity shots that really don't add anything important (hard to imagine anything more powerful than what I saw in the edited version), most likely in the scene with Marian at the end. Anyways, don't fret if you rent it and see EDITED VERSION when the title comes up--that version is just fine. last thing: this isn't a horror movie, exactly . . . unless refrigerators scare you (watch the movie, and you'll know what I mean). . .




REVIEW DATABASE

MOVIES:

28 Days Later : 7/10
8mm : 9/10
Alien : 6/10
Audition : 7/10
August Underground : 5/10
Battle Royale : 8/10
Cannibal Holocaust : 9/10
Dawn of the Dead : 5/10
Day of the Dead: 8/10
The Dead Zone : 7/10
Donnie Darko : 10/10
The Eye : 7/10
Elephant : 6/10
Freaky Friday : 8/10
Ginger Snaps : 7/10
Hardcore : 6/10
Hellboy : 6/10
House of 1000 Corpses : 4/10
House of Sand and Fog : 9/10
Hulk : 10/10
Irreversible : 8/10
Kill Bill Volume 1 : 8/10
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist : 7/10
Last House on the Left: 3/10
May : 10/10
Memento : 8/10
Mulholland Drive : 7/10
Near Dark : 6/10
One Hour Photo : 9/10
Perfect Blue: 9/10
Requiem For a Dream: 8/10
Se7en : 9/10
Terminator 2: Judgment Day : 10/10
Thesis : 6/10
Underworld : 7/10
Willard : 8/10


TELEVISION
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 5) : A
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Perfect Collection : B-
End of Evangelion : A-


BOOKS
Stephen King's IT : 5/5 stars

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 09-20-2004 at 05:03 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2003, 10:42 PM
10/10

I love all the actors, but one stood out for me: Marlon Wayans. Never would I have thought he could do a role like that. REALLY surprised me that he could be a 'serious' actor, and it was a nice break to see him in something besides comedies. (Even though he did do that one street basketball movie....DAMN! What was the name of it!)
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2003, 10:50 PM
Re: Requiem for a Dream

Quote:
Originally posted by C-Desecration-
* Quick note, I got the edited version. I really don't see what the problem is, but I was just curious as to what the unedited had (the one the director seems to like far better . . . he disowned the edited version). I'm guessing a few nudity shots that really don't add anything important (hard to imagine anything more powerful than what I saw in the edited version), most likely in the scene with Marian at the end. Anyways, don't fret if you rent it and see EDITED VERSION when the title comes up--that version is just fine. last thing: this isn't a horror movie, exactly . . . unless refrigerators scare you (watch the movie, and you'll know what I mean). . .
There is a bit of nudity,plus a double dildo in the butt scene with Jennifer Connelly that is actually quite disgusting
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2003, 04:41 PM
***minor spoilers I guess***

People in this movie have no personality because they're drug addicts. Why someone became a drug addict or what he/she was before that is unimportant. When you're addicted you follow a behavioral pattern that million other addicts follow. All past character lines are barely noticeable if at all. When you talk about heavy stuff like heroin... personality is just a memmory. I know that from experience. I saw it a crapload of times.

People who watch this movie can never trully identify with any of the characters unless they too have or have been seriously addicted
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2003, 10:47 AM
"Requiem for a Dream" is quite possibly the most emotionally envoking film that I have ever seen in my entire life. I serioulsy doubt that any film can even stand up there on the same level with this unbelievable movie. Although this thread is not about me or my life at all, I would just like to say that I do know what it feels like to be addicted to something. Maybe it is just because of my past addictions that I see this movie as so great.

The acting was completely breath-taking. Ellen Burnstyn's performance was amazing to say the least. Her transformation from the beginning of the movie to the end was depressing and scary at the same time. Jared Leto also did a wonderful job, and I felt incredibly bad for him on the taxi ride home from visiting his mother. Jennifer Connolley did an outstanding job as well, although I don't want to go into detail in fear of ruining parts of the movie for people. And finally, Marlon Wayans's performance in this film was shocking. Looking back at him in "Scary Movie" 7/10 I would have never thought he would be so good in this movie. The whole subplot about him and his mother's relationship, although brief, was very saddening. Also, the soundtrack is just as powerful as the movie itself. It definately had a HUGE part in setting the mood for certain scenes.

This movie is beyond depressing. It's emotionally scarring. All I can say to end this review is that any movie that can make me want to cry while showing me two girls on each end of a dildo, is definately worth seeing.

Last edited by BleedingBoy; 08-10-2003 at 10:52 AM..
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2003, 03:17 PM
Quote:
People in this movie have no personality because they're drug addicts. Why someone became a drug addict or what he/she was before that is unimportant. When you're addicted you follow a behavioral pattern that million other addicts follow. All past character lines are barely noticeable if at all. When you talk about heavy stuff like heroin... personality is just a memmory. I know that from experience. I saw it a crapload of times.
True.
Although I have never suffered any addiction (I have known a number of people who have/are, but none of them have gotten close to the level of the characters in Requiem), I was still able to be brought to (near) tears by the movie. As I said in my review, I did believe the characters were paper-thin, but I also said it works. Why? Because of what you - and what I failed to mention - pointed out.

But just for those of you who have not seen this, you do not have to have a past dealing with addiction to get really emotional over this film. Regardless of your nature, the last 20 minutes will throw you around the room, hitting you with everything it can. And then, when lux aeterna (the very morbid theme) starts playing . . . fuck, it will take your breath away. Check my review for more, but whoever you are, this is a good (but sad) watch.

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 08-10-2003 at 03:22 PM..
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2003, 03:47 PM
Aronofsky went about developing the characters and their relationships with each other in a different way then the usual way. Instead of using dialogue to develop his characters, he uses visuals. It's not necessarily what they do, but more so how they carry themselves, and how they express their emotions. This new aproach that they took in making this film, must have been extremely hard to pull off, and they did it very well in my opinion. Although, he didn't use much dialogue to develop his characters, I think that the different approach that Aronofsky took in developing the characters worked very well (possibly even better) when compared to the usual way of developing characters through expanding on their personality in this particular film.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2003, 08:54 AM
Quote:
Aronofsky went about developing the characters and their relationships with each other in a different way then the usual way. Instead of using dialogue to develop his characters, he uses visuals. It's not necessarily what they do, but more so how they carry themselves, and how they express their emotions. This new aproach that they took in making this film, must have been extremely hard to pull off, and they did it very well in my opinion.

I agree. I think acting is crucial for a movie like this.

***spoilers***

For example, the scene where the girl goes to the only guy who has the drugs (the one that later on throws that "dildo" party) for the first time, and she has to suck him off. When she gets out of his apartment and the camera is on her face as she walks away, her expression is priceless. You can read everything from her face. All the emotion is suppressed somewhere inside and she's obviously fucked up but seems rather cold in a situation that's basically the rock bottom. I think that's that scene, I just remember her face left such a great impact on me.

I have to watch that movie again, but I donno if I have the guts
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2003, 11:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Wicked
I agree. I think acting is crucial for a movie like this.

***spoilers***

For example, the scene where the girl goes to the only guy who has the drugs (the one that later on throws that "dildo" party) for the first time, and she has to suck him off. When she gets out of his apartment and the camera is on her face as she walks away, her expression is priceless. You can read everything from her face. All the emotion is suppressed somewhere inside and she's obviously fucked up but seems rather cold in a situation that's basically the rock bottom. I think that's that scene, I just remember her face left such a great impact on me.
***spoilers***


That's EXACTLY what I mean! Another example of this is during the final scene which is more like four scenes glued into one where Sara was doing the electroshock therapy, Harry was being taken to the hospital for his arm, Marion was doing the infamous "dildo scene", and Tyrone was doing labor work in jail. Notice how none of the characters really said anything at all, yet, to me this is the most powerful and intense 15 minutes of any film.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2003, 12:06 PM
Quote:
That's EXACTLY what I mean! Another example of this is during the final scene which is more like four scenes glued into one where Sara was doing the electroshock therapy, Harry was being taken to the hospital for his arm, Marion was doing the infamous "dildo scene", and Tyrone was doing labor work in jail. Notice how none of the characters really said anything at all, yet, to me this is the most powerful and intense 15 minutes of any film.
. . . kind of like what I keep saying.

The director is doing nothing different with the example you had, as well as the look of Marion's face--he isn't originating anything. Acting requires (ready . . .) a-c-t-i-n-g. Characters are mostly created without dialogue--those who are usually are a part of lousy movies (the stereotypical black character who always says something stupid, for instance). I'm not bashing the director (remember, I dug the film), but he really did nothing very original, except with a lack of development.
I didn't relate to any of the characters. Hell, I forgot most of their names as soon as the movie ended. Once again, that could be because I have never been a part of somethng as crippling as drug addiction (well I have, maybe more so, but not drug addiction itself). However, I have also never been a killer robot trying to protect a little kid, but I still connected with Ah-nuld in T2. Once again, as in my review, the ending did impact me completely, but not because the director used "images" to express the characters, he just used the phenominal acting of the cast.

Could anyone elaborate on the "images" thing? From both of your examples, all they represent are good acting. Nothing more, nothing less.

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 08-11-2003 at 12:08 PM..
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2003, 12:29 PM
**some spoilers i guess**

Well, you probably could not relate to the characters because of the fact that you have not been addicted to any kinda of drugs. Although, you may have been able to relate to other characters from other movies (the whole Terminator thing in your post) drug addiction is an extremely emotional and phsyical diminishing experience and you could probably only connect to the characters of this film if you knew exactly what it feel like to go through that.
As for the visuals, the scene in which Sara dances around her room in her red dress is a good visual that shows when she has finally gone insane. Another one is when Harry sees Marion on the dock and he is running to her. This shows of his inner emotions about is hopes of making it through the rough times with Marion still at his side, but deep down he feels as if that won't happen. There are many other visuals that I don't feel like going into right now.
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2003, 02:11 PM
I get what you're saying about the visuals. Also, the uniqueness of addiction might be somewhat of a taste-it-feel-it, as in if you've undergone something like that, you'll be in the constant thought of "I know how that feels" throughout requiem.

But the use of visuals in film is about as unique as having a movie with dialogue, in my opinion. Film is a visual form of art, and the director's job is to convey how the characters through images in film (sometimes symbolism if used). In requiem, Sara's dress was the only red entity in the movie. Yes, the consistent vision from leto's character, as well as the growing insanity of the mom (which was handled very well . . . especially how, after addiction, the doctor talked really fast, and she talked very slowly--masterful). He is a good director, don't get me wrong (requiem is very unique), but still . . . my opinion is that the best character development can get anyone attached to any situation, through the trials and tribulations of a character. Having a movie that only those who had a history of drug-addiction could get into is a little lazy . . . at least, that's how I feel. Then again, I'm positive that anyone can get emotionally involved (like the last 20 min).

Anyway, I think this could go on forever.

Let's agree to disagree.
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2003, 02:20 PM
haha agreed
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2003, 02:52 PM
Quote:
Could anyone elaborate on the "images" thing? From both of your examples, all they represent are good acting. Nothing more, nothing less.
Ok, one more thing and I'm done. Not so much about images, but rather a word in directors' deffence. In the scene I wrote about (leaving the place where she went to get drugs), yes, great acting is crucial, but directing was also important. For example, I'm sure many directors would put in something more "dramatic", like girl running away crying because she realizes she just did something awful blabla... but he didn't do that. He made that actor do exactly what would a heroin junky do. Now, I know this probably sounds like I think I know everything about this topic, but I don't. I do think I know more than most people who haven't actually been heavily addicted. I worked alot with local addiction prevention and rehab center and I had a few people very close to me get into that shit. Point is, I know people like those on this movie and I heard comments from people who are ex addicts who were positively surprised at how close to reality this movie actually is.

Bottom line, I think Aronofsky is extremely well acquinted with the subject of the movie. I donno how his research was done or who advised him, but that part of his job is spotless. I don't think this is a master piece of cinematography by any technical standard, but I also think, people who relate to the subject on any level will be touched by it.

So, I actually don't agree about disagreeing. I just think we're looking at this movie from different points of view. I also think all three of us are more or less right. So, Peace!

Hey, this was a good information exchange

good thread
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  #15  
Old 08-11-2003, 02:59 PM
Yeah this was a pretty good thread.
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  #16  
Old 08-11-2003, 07:12 PM
Just for a bit more on the director's cut..

Yes, you see more with the double-dildo scene, but also in the scene where Harry shoots up into the infected hole in his arm, you actually SEE the needle go in, whereas with the edited version you don't see it go on.

This IS the most powerful movie to date, however, I don't think it would be the same without the amazing score by Clint Mansell and The Kronos Quartet. The song made the movie.

The single greatest original score for a movie in cinema history.
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