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     " I felt strangely depressed but exhilarated at the same time, which is something few movies can achieve. "

      Title: Requiem for a Dream by Artisan Entertainment

      Format: DVD movie

      Reviewing Monkey: Reader Rebecca Woodham

                What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: Requiem for a Dream is adapted from Hubert Selby's novel of the same name. The main storyline of this movie is of three friends who will do anything to get drugs, subsequently their lives begin a downward spiral.
          The movie first entices the viewer to believe the world of Heroin, Marijuana, Speed and basically any other drugs that are available, is a glamorous one. Harry and Marion are lovers with big dreams for themselves and when we first see them taking drugs they look happy and very close to one another, and the use of different visual effects to accentuate the tidal-waves of feelings when they are high is very effective and creates a lasting impression. Harry's mother Sara, is a TV addict who is invited to star on a TV show. She then decides she needs to slim down for her inevitable stardom and is prescribed diet pills (uppers) by her doctor.
          Harry and Marion are in love, Sara is loosing weight, all of their drug-induced fantasies seem fulfilled. Though the closeness and euphoria Harry and Marion experience soon fades into a distant pleasant memory and we are shown the swift onslaught of the deterioration drugs can induce. It is not only the young ones lives we see starting to disintegrate, Sara (in her 60's) becomes more and more tolerant of the drugs effects and consequently believes she needs to take more to stay slim. She begins having hallucinations (of the fridge trying to kill her, no less) and is soon banging on insanity's door.
          Meanwhile Harry and Marion, after being shafted in a drug deal, are left destitute and suffering withdrawals. Harry and his friend Tyrone then begin a cross-country trip in the pursuit of more drugs, and Marion is left to feed her own addiction. Marion accomplishes this by visiting a man who gives her drugs in exchange for favors.
           Though all of the actors succeed in portraying their characters realistically, I believe that Ellen Burstyn was fantastic in this movie, she was able to go from normal to drug dependant to insane, and the transformations were smooth and almost flawless. The imagery in the film is hard to forget and imprints a dire picture a drugs on your mind. 5 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: Although it is often hard for a non-addict to relate to the feelings of hopelessness true addicts are bombarded with, the performances and visuals in the film succeed in making you feel as if you are experiencing the high and lows with them. The directing is infallible as is the use of different camera angles and techniques. 5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       My overall feeling after watching the movie was unusual and I felt strangely depressed but exhilarated at the same time, which is something few movies can achieve.


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