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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

‘Requiem For A Dream’: A Fierce and Hyperkinetic Depiction of Addiction and Desperation

Movie poster for the film Requiem For A Dream starring Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans

“Requiem For A Dream” (2000) is a fierce, relentless and frightful depiction of addiction, focused on four residents of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn: Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) a lonely elderly widow, Harry (Jared Leto) her adult son, Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) a fellow addict, and Marion (Jennifer Connelly) Harry’s abiding girlfriend.

When the opportunity arises for Sara to appear on her favorite game show, she develops an unruly dependence on dietary pills in order to fit into a beloved dress on television. Harry simultaneously abuses heroin for desperate escapism alongside Tyrone and Marion, as the three traffic, cajole and steal at every opportunity in order to support their growing mutual habit. Along the course of the film, all four principles find themselves plodding along increasingly foreboding terrain in their frenzied pursuit of serenity.

Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr. and directed by celebrated auteur Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “Mother!”), “Requiem For A Dream” is a hyperkinetic and visually enthralling creation laced with shades of dark comedy and abject horror. Aronofsky eschews sentimentality in order to delve headlong into the darkest corners of humanity, delivering a brutally honest, utterly profound and absolutely brilliant depiction of the human condition at its most severe.


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