Requiem for a Dream reception study

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Luc D, Dec 2, 2001.

  1. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2000
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm doing a reception study of Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream, which means that I'm amassing large amounts of criticism and reactions to the film.

    For those of you who have seen it and care to help me out, write down what you felt about the film as you watched it and your reactions afterwards. What did you expect going into it and how did it meet those expectations? Did you find it difficult to watch? If watched with friends or in a crowded theatre, how did the people around you react (did anyone walk out?).

    These are just suggestions, you can just tell me that you hated it or loved it. Just as long as you explain why.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Mark H

    Mark H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 1999
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    4
    Real Name:
    Mark Hyland
    Luc,
    I found Requiem to be one of the best movies of the year, period. Certainly met my expectations. As an open minded male I wasn't disturbed by this movie, although I was happy bout the fact that the ending wasn't "softened" to appease the censors, and I can understand how some people would have found this movie hard to watch. Certainly I was moved by certain scenes in this movie, such as the split screen "bed" scene showing these two people who appear to be in love yet are so distant to each other. I also found the soundtrack to be particularly good. As a big fan of Clint Mansell from his days in Pop Will Eat Itself, I found this score to be both moving and unconventional at the same time.
    Certainly one of the better book adaptations of our time.
    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought Requiem For A Dream was outstanding. Leading up to it (it was in town but only a week or two here), I had heard so much about it and it really wet my appetite. Upon recieving the DVD, I had only a few minutes to spare, so I watched the trailer. Well, after watching the preview, I must admit that I was actually scared to watch the film. The trailer, to me, was genuinely creepy. It also hinted at what you were going to get in the film without really revealing anything. So, the lead up for me, was phenomenol.
    Getting to the film itself, let's just say it was staggering. Expertly filmed, acted to a high level, the story was great...it just worked so well. Having seen Pi, some of the tricks used by Aronofsky were familiar but he continued to pull new rabbits out of his hat. Perfectly paced, the characters were very interesting and fleshed out and the ending put a perfect cap on the film. I can't think of one area that I didn't find amazing.
    Requiem For A Dream [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Bruce
     
  4. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    I loved the movie. I is difficult to explain what I felt while watching it. When the credits started to roll I just sat there for a few minutes trying to absorb what I have just witnessed (and so did my friend who watched it with me). No other movie did that to me yet (except perhaps Memento).
    I watched the movie for the first time when it was released on DVD. I didn't know a lot about it before hand, only that it is a great movie with superb acting and a very interesting visual style. So my expectations were pretty high and the movie certainly lived up to them.
    The end sequence was very difficult to watch. As I said I really felt shaken when you realize that there is no hope anymore for the characters. I liked them and it was hard to see them break.
    I hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  5. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    7,798
    Likes Received:
    11
    I saw this in Manhattan and when the film ended, the audience DEAD silent. I heard one person behind me say "Holy shit, what a movie" which I think sums it up nicely.

    Best movie of last year I think.
     
  6. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    3
    One word AWESOME...

    I was not shocked or offended by any of the content, as some people were, wife refused to watch it again.

    I loved it.

    Probably one of the best movies about drug addiction that I have ever seen.

    R~
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    I wish I still had access to my review of this film from late last year. Anyhow, here's the gist of it:

    The depiction of various addictions in "Requiem For A Dream" and the consequences is just relentless. The film uses novel ways to present in short-hand form the way a drug addict shoots up and gets high, and then shows them as they contend with what happened during the time they were high and out of touch with reality (very dull and repetitive cycle of existence, but very well done in a filmic experience). The addiction to diet pills is shown to create monsters out of ordinary household appliances because of the inner need for acceptance is strong and can overrule common sense and reality. The craving from addictions is shown to rule someone's everyday actions, and leads them into a spiral of despair that totally eradicates their hopes and dreams, instead, the addictions take root and rule their life, suppressing any form of a bright and happy future otherwise.

    The relentless of the addiction is readily accessible to the viewer, you find yourself in sync with the routine of addictions. The film shows the relentless in addictions that just consume you and those around you. The fate of the four main characters unfolds powerfully and sadly as the film races to its conclusion, and then abruptly halts. This makes for a dizzying impact on the viewer, one who will welcome the chance to get off the merry-go-round of addiction, even if the ride was only 90 minutes long.

    I sat in my seat as the credits rolled on the screen, almost paralyzed, thankfully my breathing is an autonomic response because at that moment, my brain was not thinking at all about breathing. It was dazed and confused, and sympathetic and apathetic at the same time. I walked out of the theater, walked a block or two to get to my car, all the while, somewhat shaking, my teeth shivered and chattered, mainly by product of the cold weather at the time, but not entirely.

    And yes, I found this film to be one of the best film of 2000. It was a damn shame that it didn't get the wider release it should have gotten, but the director, Darren Aronofsky, stuck to his guns, didn't compromise. Once he found out that the MPAA saddled his film with a NC-17 rating, the decision was made release it with an "unrated" rating, and limited its release in the theaters, but every high school student should see this film, regardless of its graphic content because its a cautionary tale of losing the ability to chase one's dreams due to the forces of addiction.
     
  8. Nick_Gray

    Nick_Gray Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2001
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    It may not necessarily be the "best movie ever", but it is absolutely my favorite movie ever.

    Though not offended, and not exactly shocked, the ending did leave me, shall we say, "dumbfounded." I sat through the end-credits in a very subdued state of mind. Then I sat staring at a blank screen, still processing what had just occurred. This is not so much a "movie" or "film", but an "event;" it is (to me) the single most important movie ever made.

    The acting was simply superb, we never felt that any of the characters were your typical "dirtbag drug-dealer" or "trash", they were real humans with real emotions and sometimes beautiful thoughts - just like everyone else. Ellen Burstyn was totally robbed by the Academy...

    The only thing that made me rent (and then buy) this film is that it was the sophomore effort by Aranofsky. I had stumbled across Pi and loved it, and had remembered that "Requiem" had been up for at least one Oscar. Otherwise, I had absolutely no expectations going into it; indeed, I had no idea what it was even about.

    I guess the oddest thing is that this is a real "feel-good" movie for me: after seeing it, I realize that my absolute worst problems can't hold a candle to what the characters had just gone through, and the untold horrors that awaited them in their futures. Perhaps calling this a "perspective" film would be a better name.

    I simply can't emphasize enough just how much I love this film: from the acting to the character development to the story telling/development and the cinematography, music, and, well, everything!

    Oh, and
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    All the worst tendencies apparent in PI are in full-force here. This is hamfisted filmmaking at its best - that is, a poor substitute for real cinema, but better than Oliver Stone.

    It's not unlike the "this is your brain on drugs" commercial had it been shot from inside the frying pan and lasting two hours, which becomes more than a little tedious after a point. But Aronofsky is obviously well-intentioned and clearly very sympathetic to his characters. He pulled some great performances out of his leads.

    I wanted to like this movie more than I did. If Aronofsky hadn't indulged every excess, every stylistic trick and tic, he might have created a lasting classic. For me, it's a noble and well-intentioned failure, but I give him a lot of credit for aiming so high.
     
  10. tyler O

    tyler O Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    I drove around an hour and a half to see the movie. I had read the book beforehand, so I knew what to expect. The book was abysmally horrible and the movie lived up to that expectation beautifully. By horrible I do not mean that the writing or story or any of the actual necessary parts in any book or story were badly done or written. By horrible I mean that the book was so expertly and craftily done that it showed the downward spiral in a way that I had never thought could be possibly shown in book form. Many people profess to know what the depths of human suffering can be and just how low a human being can get to in trying to do the things that they want. The book just told it perfectly. I thought the movie told the point of the book almost perfectly.

    In the book you realize that it is Requiem for a Dream, not Requiem for a Drug. It was about the dream of addiction, in whatsoever form it may take and how that dream can pervert us and make us do things which are beyond the wildest imagination of what any rational human being would even consider. The movie did make the point of addiction, but mostly it was focused more on the drugs than the television. The television part was shown very well, but it did not quite share the spotlight with the drugs. You did not realize that her hallucinations were really brought about by her desire to be on the television. Blame the drugs. You miss the deeper meaning of what her true addiction is while focusing on the drugs. The drugs that the mother took are just a mean to her ends. A mean to her dream. So are the boys selling. They want their pound of pure. They don't necessarily want to do the pound, they just want the pound. That is the dream. It is what they think they have to do to get that point that is their crux.

    The movie, while having drugs all in and throughout is not about drugs. It is about dreams. It was the dreams that put them in their state. It was the dreams that caused them to do what they did. It was the drugs that perverted and ruined the dreams. It was the drugs that made them think they needed the drugs to achieve their dreams. The dream caused this. They just had bad ways of attempting to actualize their dreams.

    After watching the movie, where 3 people walked out that I noticed, I sat and watched the screen go black. And I watched the lights go up. I could not move. During the final sequence, I wound up compressing myself into such a tight ball of nervous energy and dismay that I could barely breathe. I knew what was coming. The book was, if you can believe it, even more graphic to a point. I had to take day long breaks reading pages in the book. Our esteemed director gave no breaks. It was the most relentless, horrible onslaught of images I have ever had the absolute joy and pleasure to witness. I feel it is some of the most powerful imagery ever committed to celluloid, as a sequence. Even after watching it three more times, I still find myself as tense as the first time, with tears still streaming down my face and wanting to stop the film and wondering why I started it again if I knew this was going to happen again.

    But I know why. The same reason I choose to go on living every day.

    Existence is suffering.

    Anything that can show this point and show it beautifully, properly, and well, deserves to be seen. Some more than others. Some more than once. Some never again. Life is exactly the same. You will suffer. You will hit conflicts and feel pain. There are depths to which the human soul can scrape and still only be on the surface of true suffering. This movie gives you just a glimpse. Just as von Trier gives a glimpse of redemption through sacrifice in a world of suffering, Aronofsky gives us a beautiful image of catharsis and release through the suffering of others.

    May we learn from our mistakes. May we not repeat the folly of our past or other selves. May we continually strive toward a happier, less painful existence. May suffering be vanquished by demonstrating how it comes about.

    Anything that does this, and does it well, deserves accolades and sharing.

    P.S. - I liked it.
     
  11. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    I liked it.

    The story is interesting, and the plot is easy to follow.

    No overtly pretentious symbolism here. I'll admit, there's something darkly comical about a refridgerator trying to eat somebody. As a side note, you gotta give points for a movie with the balls to depict an A to A scene with Jennifer Connelly, let alone anybody else.

    While stylistically done, there really isn't anything new here. Just a twist on another old story.

    Overall Score: B
     
  12. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2000
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will only bump this once.

    Thanks for all the input so far.
     
  13. Tom Czr

    Tom Czr Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Requium's greatest achievment as a film is the fact that I finished watching the film feeling like a junkie myself...the pacing and style ties you up in knots similar to the dread every drug user has bubbeling below the surface (for those of you lucky to never have felt this feeling take my word for it)

    Rarely do I see a drug film that brings home the point that it could happen to anyone...not just the random dirtbags that most movies depict. And most beautifully it gives you a feeling of satisfaction that you never turned out like this while still warning that you could have easily.

    A great film and a must see in all HS Health classes
     
  14. JasonD

    JasonD Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brilliant movie. It made me feel for the characters in the following ways: Getting that next fix, feeling existential in a world of "what-ifs" and "dreams not fulfilled", reality at ground zero.
     
  15. Geoffrey_A

    Geoffrey_A Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Weird. That was my overwhelming reaction to the film, weird, then disturbing. The movie made me physically uncomfortable and sometimes sickened me. This is a testament to how effective the film is. The movie involves the viewer. You become and active participant in the film as opposed to merely viewing it. That to me says this film was a success. I don't want to see this movie again, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I felt the same way about "Kids". That film was so depressingly real that I never wanted to see it again, in spite of it being an excellent film. I think that's something special, when a movie is so good and does its job so effectively that you never want to see it again. Maybe that sounds weird, I dunno, makes sense to me though.
     
  16. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    I totally loved it and my feelings were expressed very accurately by the posts above.
    I will just add at the risk of offending the more PC people among us that I really liked the A to A scene :b Of course, no one else will admit this...
    Also, I am very interested in hearing dissenting opinions, everybody can't possibly like it eh? It's no Armageddon after all! [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  17. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2000
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found this to be a challenging, thought-provoking, and well-made movie. The growing debasement of the characters was very difficult to watch. I found the ending to be over-the-top especially for the guys on the road
    . The acting - and casting - was top notch. The music was exceptional.

    I thought the stylistic tics helped make the movie a more palatable watch. For example, the quick depiction of drug use lead to character destruction in 3 seconds instead of 3 minutes, if you will.
     

Share This Page