9.21.2005

Requiem for a Dream



I am not going to watch this movie again. It is a brilliant tale that will extremely disturb and pain your senses while and after watching the movie. If you hate watching this movie second time, there lies its success. I have never seen such hard hitting visual interpretation of drug addiction and its nightmarish consequences.

A lonely old widow Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) dreams about participating in a TV game show. But for that she has to reduce her weight and look thin. To do so, she takes too much of pills prescribed by the doctors without knowing that she is slowly becoming an addict to drugs. Sara’s son Harry (Jared Leto) is also a drug addict and a drug peddler. He does the business along with his close friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and girl friend Marione (Jennifer Connelly). These guys are also drug addicts. The movie takes us in a journey through lives of these four people and exhibits the pain of wild madness and sufferings they get into while they go in search for drugs.

The three factors that make this movie truly outstanding are 1) Performances 2) Visual Treatment and 3) Music.

Ellen Burstyn comes up with a bravo performance as a madly fame obsessed woman. The transition in the psyche of this character is portrayed with perfection by Ellen. It is one of the most stunning performances I have seen so far. She will make you cry with her performance in the scene where she wanders like a beggar in the train telling people that she is going to appear in TV show. No wonder, she won the Oscar for this movie. Also all others have given a realistic portrayal of their respective roles.

Visual treatment is one big factor that makes this movie a classic. The quick edited shots along with sounds visualizing the steps in doing things especially consuming drugs is an appealing visual technique that I have never seen before. The same scene shot from two different angles shown in a single frame is also a nice technique that adds to the realism. To the top of all, just watch how the characters move after taking drugs, the camera just floats and no step movements, absolutely depicting the state of the mind of the characters. The 15 minute climax and its hard hitting visual where all the four reach an extreme limit of pain and suffering as a consequence of their habits will make a drug addict to think for a while before going for the next joint. Kudos to the screen writer for thinking such harsh shots and the cinematographer for practically executing the same so brilliantly. In spite of a dry and raw concept, it is these visuals that make the movie an interesting watch. Without such visuals, the movie would look like a documentary.

Background score is another asset for the film. The background score gels well with the visuals and ooze more emotions out of it. The dark and dreary string quartet theme that is used all through the film sticks to our mind. Even after a week since watching the movie, it is these killing notes that reminds the visuals of the movie and maintains the impact afresh.

Please be aware that the movie will spoil your mood completely. It will take you to a completely different world where you uncomfortably yet willingly watch the psychic visuals capturing inner minds of drug addicts and it will take at least a day to come out of it.

1 comment:

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