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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Requiem for a dream

Darren Aronofsky may be the most ingeniously dark director since Stanley Kubrick. And his second feature film, Requiem for a Dream, may be the most disturbing, but powerful film I have seen in years.

Based on the 1978 novel by Hubert Selby Jr., the film follows four characters Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and Marion (Jennifer Connelly) who each go through the spiral of drug addiction and abuse, but not in a typical Hollywood fashion. This movie is a morbidly intense, musical, visual, and spiritual fleet through the conditions surrounding the characters’ addictions that lead them to separate climactic tragedies.

I know the plot sounds trite, but the extraordinary cinematography, soundtrack (by Clint Mansell with the Kronos Quartet), acting, and direction of the film makes this simple plot the most unique film I have seen since A Clockwork Orange.

The great thing about this film is that it doesn’t glamorize drug abuse. Aronofsky hypnotically propels the audience into the full spectrum of conditions and emotions of drug abuse. The characters are your normal, everyday people, who by circumstances inherent in our society, meet misfortune in the worst of ways.
And what is more gripping about Requiem is that it gives us four characters whose abuse is rooted in thoughts that some viewers may feel hit too close to home: trying to lose weight, doing whatever it takes to not lose your love, and trying to make more money.

There is so much that can be said about this film, but I don’t like to read reviews that give away the entire film, so I will spare you that discourtesy. I will say that I was impressed with the accelerated montage sequences that perfectly show the aspects of drug use. And Aronofsky’s dark satire of game/talk shows made me nauseous, but I’m sure that was his intent. Also, Ellen Burstyn gives a hauntingly superb performance.

Requiem For a Dream was finally released in Greensboro nearly four months into circulation. The film was not widely released because it was categorized unrated by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) because of its shocking content and suggestive sex scenes. This rating is another undeserved case where the MPAA didn’t consider the value of art.

Yes, the film is shocking, but that’s the point. You are meant to be shocked. So why censor it? Drug abuse is a part of our culture, and I’ve never seen a movie that captures that experience more accurately and articulately.

Checkout the web site, It is insane.

Requiem for a Dream and Aronofsky’s first film Pi, are must-sees. Unfortunately, Requiem is only playing for a limited time at the Carousel on Battleground. So jump to the opportunity if you feel so inclined.

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