"One of the most intriguing, unique films i've ever watched"
by Grant Tissot, Writer & EditorI stumbled across 'Requiem for a Dream' earlier this week in a film shop, and admittedly had never heard of it before. I am a big fan of the American rock band '30 Seconds to Mars' of which Jared Leto is the founder and lead vocalist, so seeing his name on the front cover automatically grabbed my attention. It is fair to say my instinct to give it a watch paid off, with it being one of the most intriguing, unique films I've ever had the pleasure to watch.
It tells the story of four individuals living in New York, all of which are in a drug related world of addiction. The main focus is an elderly woman (Ellen Burstyn) trying to lose weight after being shortlisted to appear on her favourite Television show. She turns to weight loss pills prescribed by a doctor and finds herself in a desperate state before she realises what is happening. Ellen Burstyn plays the role incredibly well, and I was truly gripped by her performance portraying the struggle of an unlikely drug addict. This unique performance got her nominated for Best Actress at the 2001 Academy Awards, a huge award for a film of this nature.
Despite most of the attention being on the elderly woman, her son (Jared Leto) and his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) are also drug addicts. It is a different form of addiction to the mother, with the film showing their daily struggle to fill their need for hard drugs. Director Darren Aronofsky combines switching the focus between mother and son brilliantly without the audience losing interest in either story. The film also shows the lengths at which the son and his best friend (Marlon Wayans) go to in order to fulfil their drug addictions.
Overall I was hooked for the whole film, whilst becoming fascinated by the elderly woman and her issue with weight pills. When she begins to spiral out of control I found it hard to watch, a sign of just how Ellen Burstyn's performance hooks you into the character. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a film that doesn't follow the standard 'happy ending' format that most films offer.
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