Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000

"Requiem for a Dream"

by Jonathan Robert Muirhead

Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000 is presented by:

Requiem For A Dream presents a nightmarish vision of America. It's bullishly argumentative, frenetic (particularly in its editing) and thoroughly involving. Darren Aronofsky's point-of-view shots home in uncomfortably closely on his characters: young junkie Jared Leto, his girlfriend Jennifer Connelly, and his TV addict mother, Ellen Burstyn. Each is trapped in their own fantasy world.

TV addict Burstyn watches a never-ending gameshow which gets a little less glamorous, more of a desperate escape as it goes on. Leto's working towards a heroin deal which will "set him up for life." The film follows a continuous track of highs and lows, letting us in on the thrilling sensation of why these people take drugs - to temporarily escape mind-destroying reality.

The film has a dream-like feel, euphoria and nightmare fusing together. It often feels like David Hayman's Slient Scream, when its narrative continually doubles back on itself to give us the same fears and uncertainties as the characters. The sequences of Burstyn watching the never-ending game show crack completely, in one mind-blowing sequence, where the host bursts through the screen. Burstyn ends up going insane. The characters' world crashes in on them, with heartbreaking results. The slow-fast-slow motion of the film enables us to slip into the characters' day-to-day living routines and their precious little happinesses. But we are never spared the downside.

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