Broflix: “Requiem for a Dream”

My brother was kind enough to provide another evening of entertainment yesterday with a modern classic by Darren Aronofsky. Requiem for a Dream is the story of four characters whose lives take a tragic turn when they become addicted to drugs and suffer a series of misfortunes.

The word that everyone uses to describe this movie: depressing. Without fail, everyone who you mention it to will use that word. Of course, even though I’m often one to disagree with the conventional wisdom, I am going to have to agree. The movie creates characters you care about and then proceeds to make them suffer in almost the most egregious way possible.

As you may have been able to tell from my previous writings here, even though I am not a user of drugs, I believe their legalization is an important step in ensuring the freedom of people in our society and preventing the daily atrocities that occur when SWAT teams bust down the doors of non-violent people. The worst things in the movie do occur because drugs are illegal; three of the four characters end up in the situations they are in because of it. The movie also includes a story where a prescription drug user becomes addicted, and legalization probably would not have prevented that scenario.

Even though I agree that the film was depressing, it actually felt good watching it. My moods have been a little erratic lately, but looking at the people in the film, I can see that my life really isn’t as bad as all that, as they say. It’s even a little uplifting when I compare myself to what they are going through. I don’t know if that was an aspect of the movie that was intended, but it was how I experienced it at the time. Ask me to watch it again in two years and we’ll see what I have to say then.

I didn’t really understand the show-within-a-show, which starred Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore as a self-help expert.  I don’t know if it’s supposed to be ironic, inspiring, silly, scary, or what.  It definitely added to the ambience of the movie in a positive way, though.  I think ambience is something this movie does very well.

I also watched Little Children from Netflix this week, but I didn’t do a Netflux.  It was sort of similar to Requiem, in a way: depressing but it didn’t leave me depressed.  I don’t really know how to say anything more about the feeling they left me with, but I think I would have liked both more a year ago, and hopefully also a year from now.  In any case, if you don’t mind sad movies that are very good, I would see both of these.  Everyone should probably see requiem at least once.

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