Requiem for a Dream is Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Herbert Selby Jr.’s novel of the same name. With movies and books like The Basketball Diaries, Blow, Traffic, and this movie, American culture, since its government’s “War on Drugs” policy, has had an obsession with narcotics.
Out of all the movies mentioned above, this one is the best. The film centers on four addicts who are slowly drawn into the underbelly of society when their addictions get the better of them. When the street dries up due to some great work by the DEA, each character’s life spirals out of control.
Some of the more disturbing scenes deal with the lead female character Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly). Starting off selling herself for a hit, she enters into some pretty graphic sexual degradation. Harry, her boyfriend, comes to realize what happens if you don’t take care of an infection from shooting with dirty needles as his arm is amputated. The scene where he shoots up right into the black, disgustingly infected arm is one of the most spine-curdling scenes on film.
But Ellen Burstyn’s character, Sara Goldfarb, is the most poignant and believable in the film. Where we have become accustomed to drugs in film being of the illegal kind, Sara becomes addicted to prescription diet pills that she used to lose some weight to fit into a dress. A biting movie on American drug culture and in some ways its society in general, Requiem for a Dream is a must see and a great Blu-ray library addition.