Double Take: Requiem For a Dream

Purple in the morning, Blue in the afternoon, Orange in the evening, and Green at night.

What I remember from this movie is that it was very dark. Deep emotions and hard to watch scenes guided this movie that gave me an unsettling feeling. From a third person movie perspective. Darren Aronofsky created a realistic take on the additions of drugs and other emotions that plague us and can lead us down a dark path. I was about 19 almost 20 yrs old when I first saw this film. Just starting to be out on my own but still unaware of what drugs did to a person. So this movie was very eye opening for me. I picked this movie because now that I am older and also on my own taking care of myself, I wanted to see if I would react the same or more connected to the movie.

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The cast is brilliant in this film. Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, Jennifer Connelly, and Ellen Burstyn bring us our lead characters and storylines as they each deal with their own demons and pressures while being addicted to drugs from diet pills to meth. Each story has their own unique of struggle and what was great is that someone can relate to their issues. Wayans, who is known for his comedy attributes shined playing a more serious role while still being himself as the best friend to Leto. Connelly beautiful as ever who inspires to be a designer for clothes still looks good even high on crack. I never have to worry about her acting. Ellen Burstyn. What can I not say about her performance. Everything about it was amazing. She grabbed my attention the most as she played a widow who is dealing with depression, loneliness, and going after a dream to be on television and losing weight to make sure she looks good when it happens. Most of her scenes were by herself without the rest of the cast. A few with Leto who plays her son Harry, but watching her deal with the effects of diet pills was really hard to watch. The neglect from her doctor and her absent son who doesn’t watch over her, she didn’t have a chance dodging the effect of taking too many pills. There is a scene where she is visited from Harry and she explains to him why she needs those pills and why she needs to be able to have her moment in the spotlight. It’s heartbreaking but holds true for individuals who deal with the same problems.

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From beginning to the end, there are many ways Aronofsky gave us a visual look into the world of someone who is addicted to drugs. From the opening credits deteriorating after they appear on screen, to the erratic and shaky camera angles and POV of our characters were helpful at painting the picture for the audience. Quick cut scene moments and rapid images one after the other showing the process of shooting up made it hard to avoid and even more depressing to watch but in a good way. Any sign of weakness or coming off of their high, you could see they were left to face the disappointment in themselves and then just like that cut to them using again and all is well, high on life and happy to continue their dreams. What tied it all together with a big nice bow is the music. Clint Mansell along with the Kronos Quartet did an amazing and job creating a haunting and creepy soundtrack to go with the heaviness and madness our characters deal with inside their heads.

Honestly, the score is one of the best soundtracks ever made You will notice if you speed up the tempo of the title song, you could recognize it in other movies and trailers to hype of the action. An example would be Lord of the Rings trailer. You can even catch other movies and some adult cartoons (Family Guy, Drawn Together) have used some of those infamous cut scenes to show addiction in their own way. So this movie is old but not forgotten. It has left a mark in pop culture and has a cult status. Prepare for a hard look into the lives of four people who has dreams and inspirations to make themselves and others proud by being adults and surviving in this world. A rollercoaster journey we watch them rise and fall ending with the last 15 mins of non-stop rock bottom behavior leaving you feeling bad and wildly entertained in the process. This movie also reminded me why I can’t look at Keith David as an actor. Every time I look at him I get a disgusting feeling in my stomach and this movie is the reason why. It must me he did a very effective job in his role in the film. It seems that I felt the same about m feelings for this movie with a little more depth and understanding on how easy addiction can take over when you don’t deal with your inner demons.

5 out of 5 and still one of my favorite movies of all time.

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