October 3, 2003

Requiem for a Dream (review w/spoilers)

I haven't absorbed the movie Requiem for a Dream in enough detail to give a thorough review, but I can give some impressions of it from two viewings. The primary feeling I got from the movie is hopelessness. There is no redemption in RFAD. From the first moments of the film, you know that the lives of its characters are sad and wretched, and the strong impression that they won't be going anywhere but down is quickly validated.

This is a terrific movie nonetheless, and I think if you can handle the subject material and some graphic scenes of violence and sex (especially towards the end), you can't help but carry this movie with you. Both Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly do great work, but Ellen Burstyn really walks off with this movie. Maybe it's because hers is the most sympathetic character and her destruction is so unbearably sad, but that's true because of Burstyn's brilliance. Marlon Wayans is also exceptional in a smaller role; he should do more dramatic work in the future.

This is ranked #46 on IMDB. Definitely deserves to be in that neighborhood, although some reviewers say it doesn't measure up to Trainspotting. I haven't seen that one yet, but Trainspotting would have to be almost unbelievable great to top this.


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