Friday, January 06, 2006
Requiem For A Dream
I'm somebody now, Harry. Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you, and your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight, to fit in the red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right. What have I got Harry, hm? Why should I even make the bed, or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone, you're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old.
Words that make you pause the screen and take a walk. There are several such stop-gaps in the movie where the intensity of the drama becomes just too much to bear. Like when a young Jennifer Connelly looks into the camera, her eyes laden with corporeal desperation, as she participates in a soul-destroying orgy for a packet of her addiction fuel. Each and every character is battling addictions of one type or another. Spoken by Harry’s (Jared Leto) mom when he visits her after many days, the above dialogue stops the viewer in the tracks and makes him/her sit up and take notice. A TV junkie, Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) tries to dissipate the loneliness in her life by watching JUICE (Join Us In Creating Excellence) and imagines being the desirable prize-winner on one of its episodes. Her enthusiasm is fuelled by a fake phone call that promises her a berth on the show and for which she does everything, including ultimately losing her sanity, to lose weight. The spotlight is a metaphor for Sara's intense need for recognition, a plea to be accorded the slightest semblance of existence. To not fall into oblivion, uncared for, unsung.
Requiem is a gut-wrenching look at how drugs ruined an entire generation of young and bright Americans. How addiction often has deep emotional undercurrents and points towards missing links and missed chances. Leto, Connelly and Wayans are visceral and sparkling. No wonder the former two are inching towards Hollywood A-list today.