Requiem for a Dream

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Requiem for a Dream (2000): Featuring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly

This movie is not for the faint of heart.  It documents the lives of four Coney Island natives and their life threatening addictions.  Similar to many addictions, the movie starts out pretty calm and fun, but that feeling doesn’t last much longer than thirty minutes.  It quickly turns into a wild and sad tale of what people will do to get high.

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 The lives of young lovers Leto and Connelly are followed as they figure out the trials of living alone in New York, while also being addicted to heroine, among other drugs.  They are joined by fellow addict and friend, played by Marlon Wayans in their struggle to survive.  While Leto and Connelly’s love is enduring at first, it takes a fast turn once Connelly starts to consider other ways of paying for her drugs when the market goes dry.

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 On the other side is Burstyn, Leto’s mother in the film, who is hopeless when it comes to her son’s addiction.  Unfortunately, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Burstyn soon gets wrapped up in the world of diets and diet pills prescribed by her doctor.  Her friends encourage the weight loss and total transformation, without recognizing the signs of her quickly approaching downfall.  She soon falls into the same fate as her son.

This movie is definitely one of my favorites.  It hits you hard and leaves you feeling lost and unsure as the credits roll.  Definitely not the movie to watch when in a bad mood (I’ve made that mistake more than once), or at night as it can lead to some pretty horrifying dreams (again, my mistake).  My favorite part besides the actual story line? Clint Mansell’s score.  It’s dark and creepy and brings out the true anxiety of the film.  It also makes for great studying music.  Definitely one of the more played soundtracks on my iPod.

Rating: 5 stars

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