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Hey guys! Welcome to another movie review, today’s movie is a very freaky and depressive one yet a very well-portrayed one that might make you question some of your life choices. I’m saying this because it made me really sad, like I didn’t really feel like the same person. It just made me question the world itself, how there’s many people who have dreams and aspirations they’d like to achieve but don’t have the means to do so. They try to find the quickest way to achieve things, find ways to forget how harsh the real world can be and end up worse than they were in the beginning. Sometimes they end up dead while still living, the person they used to be has died, the body may still function but the spirit is broken. This is what happens to our protagonists on their journey to achieve their dreams, they made the wrong choices which then lead to their inevitable downfall. One thing that fascinated me was the word ”Requiem” in the title because I had never heard that word, when I found the meaning it all made sense: the movie was sort of an hymn for dreams that had died along with those people that created them; at least that is my interpretation. The psychological drama film is actually based on a novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, jr. published back in 1978 and directed by Darren Aronofsky (same director of Black Swan).

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I found this movie one day while I was on’s YouTube Channel and I had clicked on a video called ”Top Ten Scary Scenes from Non-Horror Movies” (or something like that). I saw a scene from the movie, so I felt the need to watch it afterwards. It really delivered a strong message and in a way let you symphatize with these characters that completely lost themselves just because they had a dream. It’s still a message that makes sense today, because money is so hard to earn when you work decently sometimes it’s not enough to pay off bills and still have money left to do the things you want. Sometimes we want to look a certain way but were either to lazy to diet, to cook healthy meals, so we resort to crash diets that may give quick results but you never learn how to truly take care of your body and you end up gaining back all you lost. Is it really worth it?

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The film revolves around the lives of 4 New Yorkers: Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) a lonely widow who lives in a small apartment and does nothing but watch television all day long, her son Harry (Jared Leto) who is a heroin addict who sometimes just comes to visit her mother to pawn her television set for drugs, his best friend Tyron (Marlon Wayans) who is also a junkie who just wants to have enough money to have a better life, and Harry’s girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) who wants to be a fashion designer and be able to have a nice life with Harry. All of them have certain goals they want to achieve: Sara got a phone call that she was chosen to appear on television, so she really wants to fit into this red dress she wore for Harry’s high school graduation and was her deceased husband’s favorite dress. In order to fit into the dress she first starts a diet consisting of eating things like black coffee, hard boiled egg, and grapefruit, which basically makes her feel miserable. So another friend recommends that she goes to a doctor to give her pills to lose weight easily without having to diet. Harry and Marion want to open a designer clothing store and Tyron suggests that they should get into the drug trading business to get enough money for everyone to sustain themselves. As with every addiction everything begins well: Sara lost a lot of weight and is more energetic, while Harry, Marion and Tyron earn a lot of money from their business and Harry manages to buy a place for Marion’s business; but sadly all these things don’t seem to last for long as time goes by.

The pills no longer make Sara as energetic as before so she doubles and even triples her pill dose to the point she doesn’t eat anything but the pills; all because the people that called her to be on tv hadn’t responded to her application. Harry uses a lot of the money he and his friends earned to pay bail for Tyron who got arrested after escaping a shooting, then the money gets very difficult to earn back since business isn’t moving much and Marion is going through a drug withdrawal. Harry even suggests to for Marion to sleep with there therapist in order to get some money, she does this but this creates great tension in her relationship with Harry. Since finding drugs to sell in New York becomes difficult, Tyron and Harry decide to go down to Florida. Before he leaves Harry gives Marion the number of a pimp that likes to sleep with girls and pay for it, he does this after they have a fight about how Harry had promised he would try to fix things but things kept getting worse and Marion calls him a loser.

After suffering a realistic psychosis hallucination which involved the refrigerator coming to life, Sara runs away from her apartment and onto the streets of New York. She’s wearing her red dress, her red-bleached hair is mess and losing its color, she looks all dried from the weight she lost. She gets on the subway to reach the agency that told her she’d be on television, to ask why they haven’t responded her letter. People look at her in a mean way, like she was crazy and don’t really try to help her. Once she reaches the agency they tell she will no longer be on television and the secretary calls the paramedics when she sees how Sara looks. They come to take her to a psych ward, where they try numerous treatments on her, but since they all fail they decided to give her electro shock therapy with leads to her losing her mind completely. While Harry and Tyrone are on their way to Florida, Marion goes to the pimp’s apartment and sleeps with him for money. He even invites her to a party the night after where she could win a lot more money; so in the end she becomes a prostitute in oder to pay for her addiction. Harry and Tyrone go to the hospital because Harry’s arm is getting a serious infection from injecting himself so often. When the doctor notices symptoms of fraud abuse, Harry and Tyrone are sent to prison, Harry is taken to the infirmary to get his arm amputated while Tyrone is abuse and mistreated by everyone because of his race.

Not a story full of happy endings.

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I like the way the movie was edited with short and quick shots whenever somebody was going to take a drug, because it marks that difference between being sober and being high. I liked how every character had their own story in their own right, that they gave everyone the same level of importance to their problems and what their dreams were. Then comparing how they were from the beginning to end, was really shocking the catastrophic turns everyone’s lives took in order to get what they wanted. Also the way that an addiction can make you hate someone you love or just give them less importance than before it is really sad (like Harry and Marion, Harry and his mom, Tyrone wanting to make his mother proud).

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The movie has earned a lot of acclaim in popular culture, I may have even seen a reference to this movie on an episode of American Dad where they used the same short and quick scene cuts in one scene Roger is taking drugs in order to find a missing girl. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, the movie premiered  at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and 2000 Toronto International Film Festival . Also I’ve heard that they have even used to film to educate students about drug abuse, which is really good considering how shocking this movie can be.

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Hope you guys liked this review! Please watch the movie, it will make you reflect a bit on life and make reevaluate those things you feel are important to you. Also makes you analyze if the path you take to achieve your goals is really the best way.

Have a nice day!

I rate this movie 3.4/5 pills