Requiem for a Dream This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 21, 2009
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Drugs are bad. Don't do them. The world would be a better place if everyone felt this way. Of course, responsibility rests fundamentally on the shoulders of those taking drugs, but many who do them are motivated by undesirable situations. Drug abuse and its effects are exposed perfectly in Darren Aronofsky's 2000 film “Requiem for a Dream.”

The movie revolves around Sara and Harry Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto), Harry's girlfriend, Marion ­(Jennifer Connelly), and best friend Tyrone (Marlon Way­ans), and their self-destruction due to drugs.

All play the part of neurotic drug addicts incredibly well. Leto's Bostonian accent conveys hollow pain. Burstyn, a lonely mother longing to please her son, leaves the viewer with a true sense of empathy for those suffering with body ­dysmorphia.

The movie's locations are desolate, dreamy, and beautiful. Images of cerulean docks are constantly flickering across the screen in an almost postmodern way, and blue becomes a central motif for the characters' self-destruction. Director Aronofsky uses bodycams, montages, and characteristic short shots. The characters look gritty and rough.

The soundtrack by Clint Mansell reflects the obsessive and neurotic feel of the film and its characters. With scrapes, scratches, and ­dissonance, the music becomes a cacophonous shell, trapping the viewer and making the ­images even more powerful. The plot is pushed forward by the symphonic track “Lux Aeterna,” which appears in many variations.

The only negative here is that, while the film is a unique work of art, some scenes may be too graphic for many viewers. But the reality is that drug addiction, particularly heroin, isn't pretty. Aronofsky retains realism and believability where many films on the topic – like Pink Floyd's “The Wall” – ­descend into obscurity.

Overall, the film provides an artistic and original view of drug addiction. If teens viewed this movie in school instead of mediocre, unrealistic drug education films, they would perhaps be less likely to try drugs.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Vagialena said...
Apr. 13, 2012 at 6:38 am
Well, it has to do with addiction in general and living in delusion. But you're right. It may be the hard way, but I personally don't want to try drugs. Anytime... It really scared me. This movie left me just speechless...
ilostmypen said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 9:16 am
Great review :) I'm utterly twitterpated with Jared Leto, so I had to read this. Good work, really :) x
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