Requiem for a Dream: Distorted Nature of Human Soul

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The film I chose to analyse is “Requiem for a dream” and it is the story of the dark side of a distorted, and niggardly reverse man’s soul, who swallows all dreams and hopes that crouch in him, eternally insatiable in search of the next fix. Requiem for a dream is a generational and philosophical film directed by Darren Aronofsky. At first, it was a book written by Hubert Selby, Jr in 1978. Its themes are at the heart of contemporary youth: media, drugs, sex, but beyond that, Requiem is a reflection on addiction, on the alienation and self-ownership.

This movie is about the inner landscape of human being’s desire to love and feel loved and connect. The usual approach was to treat Requiem for a Dream as a film about addiction, but to do so is to turn a film with a deeper insight into the human psyche into another piece of simplification in Hollywood. Drugs and addiction are simply a plot device for moving the line of the story. While placing addiction and obsession hand in hand is common, you first have to define what each means. It concerns four people, living in New York (but not the beautiful part and instead of the nice shops and monuments are drug pushers and groggy buildings) whose lives spiral out of control as they give in to their addiction. These parable stories are linked by the relationship of Sarah Goldfarb, a resigned widow living in a little loft and her drug addict son, Harry. Sarah (Ellen Burstyn) represents consumerism, she invests most of her energy sitting in front of the TV, watching especially a self-help show and having a dream of being a guest on that show. She is caught in the web of materialism/capitalism which leads to insanity and sadness. Finally, her dream comes true, so she urgently needs to get in shape to wear her favourite dress so goes on a crash course including popping pills, pills which end up being addictive and unsafe to her psychological state. Harry (Jared Leto) represents mature capitalism. He spends most of his time selling his mum’s stuff, especially her TV, and along with his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) have dreams of becoming famous and making money by being a drug dealer. His girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) could be a fashion designer but is swept along in Harry's drug-centric world and sells her body for drugs.

The film is divided into climate seasons: Summer, Fall and Winter. In summer the group does not suffer the downsides of its dependencies: the three dudes create a drug trafficking trough which they earn enough money to buy an apartment and even to put aside others, in order to open Marion’s dream atelier. Sarah’s dependence starts under the worst sign: she is invited by telephone as a spectator in the TV show. Sarah sees it as the turn of her life, which is monotonous and grey, red is instead the dress that she would like to wear for the occasion. This dress represents the past: her youth and her husband. However, she fails to enter the dress, and this is when she starts her diet.

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