Friday, April 22, 2011

My review of Requiem for a Dream

If I ever made a list of films that I saw that I'm glad that I saw but have no intention to see again, this film would be on the list with such films as A Clockwork Orange. I saw it. I'm glad I saw it but I will not do so again. at least not for a very long time. That, and I sure as f*** am not going to do drugs that's for sure. So, this movie succeeded in what it wanted to do with its audience.

Acting/characters: As anyone who has seen this one knows, Ellen Burstyn is absolutely amazing in this film. I personally would have given it to her as opposed to Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovitch. But Burstyn had already won in '74 if memory serves so she didn't get it. But her performance was easily the most memorable in the film. The other 3 principal actors did very well too. But Burstyn stole the show. Incredibly talent was displayed here and Jennifer Connelly went on to win Best Supporting Actress the year after this. Jared Leto had previously done Fight Club and American Psycho so good stuff there. Marlon Wayans went on to do the Scary Movie films and Norbit and Marmaduke. Multiple Razzie noms and wins. Too bad. The cast did an amazing job. Easily the best part. 10/10

Plot: FUBAR. Very FUBAR. it definitely shows what drug addiction can do to someone. It starts out great and the characters had everything going for them. But as I'm sure you know even if you haven't seen it, it all goes wrong. And by does it go wrong. It is very powerful and depressing. If you are looking for comic relief with your deep movies, turn back now for there is none. It was a very powerful and moving experience. It shows how drugs not only ruing you, but everyone around you is affected. Like I said, after seeing this one I will not do drugs. I doubt anyone has done drugs after this one. It was incredibly powerful and I felt that it had great success in getting across its message. Props to Aronofski for this one. 9/10

Screenplay: To me, the real screenplay was the music. The absolutely amazing music. This film would not have worked with different music I feel. If they didn't have Lux Aeterna (eternal light) in here the film wouldn't have worked as well. As for the script, It was good too. But I felt that the words were almost incidental sometimes and it was the music that really got the message across and set the tone and emotions for everything. This is not a burn against the script which was still excellent, but I felt the music was what really kept it going. 9/10

Likableness: I don't know if this is a film to 'like' so much. You can appreciate how amazing it is, you can be moved by its powerful message, you can invest yourself in the characters so much that you feel what they are going through, but it isn't a film to like. This film was not meant to entertain. It was meant to tell a powerful and incredibly important message. It did just that. It did that very well. 9/10

Final Score: 37/40 92% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Most movies contain 600 to 700 cuts. Requiem for a Dream contains over 2,000.

2. Director Darren Aronofsky asked Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans to avoid sex and sugar for a period of 30 days in order to better understand an overwhelming craving.

3. During Ellen Burstyn's impassioned monologue about how it feels to be old, cinematographer Matthew Libatique accidentally let the camera drift off-target. When director Darren Aronofsky called "cut" and confronted him about it, he realized the reason Libatique had let the camera drift was because he had been crying during the take and fogged up the camera's eyepiece. This was the take used in the final print.

4. In addition to having a camera mounted to her for certain sequences, Ellen Burstyn, spent four hours every morning being fitted with prosthetics, wearing four different necks (both fat and emaciated), two different fat suits (a 40-pound and 20-pound suit), and nine different wigs.

5. Jared Leto lost 25 lbs and befriended real heroin junkies from Brooklyn to prepare for his role as Harry Goldfarb.

6. The Tappy Tibbons material was shot in one day, with Christopher McDonald improvising a good deal of his material. At the end, the SAG extras for the audience and the crew all gave him a standing ovation.

7. 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.

8. The overhead shot of Marion in the bathtub followed by her screaming underwater was an exact replica of a shot in the Japanese animated thriller, Perfect Blue. Darren Aronofsky bought the remake rights to the film just to use that one sequence.

9. When Sarah Goldfarb is on the subway and she is telling strangers that she is going to be on TV, a man tells her "You are whacked". That man was Darren Aronofsky's father.

10. To get into the character of Marion, who is a dress designer, Jennifer Connelly started making clothes for herself, and ended up making most of her own wardrobe.

11. Hubert Selby Jr. The author and co-scriptwriter makes a brief cameo as one of the prison officers supervising Tyrone (Marlon Wayans).

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