I have got to say that I'm quite sure that this is the scariest film I have ever seen in my life. I firmly believe that if kids were shown this film, there would be no more drug problems in this country.
Requiem for a Dream examines a year in the life of Harry Goldfarb, his mother Sara, his girlfriend Marion, and his best friend Tyrone and their increasing inability to control their respective addictions and eventually falling prey to them.
Ellen Burstyn plays Sara, and it is such a disgrace that she was passed over for the Best Actress Academy Award. Her performance is flawless, particularly her monologue attempting to justify her addiction:
-I'm somebody now Harry. Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me, and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you, and your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight, to fit in the red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right. What have I got Harry? Why should I even make the bed, or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone. You're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old.
-You got friends, ma.
-It's not the same. They don't need me. I like the way I feel. I like thinking about the red dress and the television and you, and your father. Now when I get the sun, I smile.
The whole cast did a really fine job of playing addicts trying their best to keep their addictions under control. They show the desperation of doing anything for a fix, consequences be damned. Requiem for a Dream is an unflinching, in-your-face film that doesn't back down for a second.
The first time I watched it, I was literally stunned and speechless. I tried to brighten up by watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail afterward, but it was to no avail. I was still haunted by Requiem for a Dream.I still am. I'm sure I'll always be haunted by it.