And I thought Dancer
in the Dark was depressing. It has nothing on Requiem For
A Dream which is the second film for director, Darren Aronofsky
who made a splash with his bizarre, first feature, Pi.
In that film, Aronofsky showed great inventiveness in using film effects
to mirror what was going on in character's minds. The plot involved
looking for God in patterns in the Stock Market, the Torah and finally
the number Pi. Requiem For A Dream has a much more pedestrian
plot but is filmed in a very similar style. And since most of the
characters spend most of their time whacked out on drugs, Aronofsky has
ample opportunity for bringing their demons to the screen, as he shows
us life through their eyes. This is the story of a young man (Jared
Leto), his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly), his best friend (Marlon
Wayans) and his mother (Ellen Burstyn). Their lives form yet
another death spiral as Leto, Connelly and Wayans go from drugged-out slackers
to drug fiends, and Burstyn gets hooked on diet pills in an effort to lose
weight. The style of the movie as it weaves in reality with drug
induced hallucinations is compelling and the story moves right along. But
we have all seen this many times before and done much better. I don't
think anyone will beat Trainspotting
for depicting the lives of people who are hooked on drugs and can't escape.
And Leto is no Ewan McGregor. Requiem For A Dream certainly
doesn't add anything new to the genre except the wrinkle of having the
druggie's mother also descending into drug hell at the same time.
The cast is good and Burstyn, in particular, does a realistic, even scary
turn as the mother. Up and comer, Leto (American
Psycho, Girl Interrupted,
Fight Club) is also good.
Jennifer Connelly is one of those people famous for being famous.
She is a particular favorite on a certain kind of web site (it's just something
I heard). Anyway, she looks good but also shows that she can
act a bit in this film. Wayans is, well, one of the Wayans. But at
the end of the film, all I could say was, ``Who cares?" It just
seemed like the same old depressing stuff without any insight into why
it was all happening. Maybe I should have had a toke or two before
seeing Requiem For A Dream. It might have helped.