Requiem For A Dream
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

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.