Themes Of Requiem For A Dream

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Requiem for a Dream takes us down the dark paths of four people who, in desperate attempts to find happiness and fulfilment, become sucked into a world of drug addiction. The 2000 film by Darren Aronofsky is based upon Hubert Selby Jr.’s 1978 novel of the same name. Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a retired widow who lives by herself in a tiny apartment. She is very lonely and spends copious amounts of time watching television; she is especially enamored with a self-help show. After a phone call leads her to believe her dreams of appearing on the show as a guest might come true, she attempts to lose weight. She starts taking diet pills and soon finds herself hooked, causing her mental state to deteriorate rapidly. Her son, Harry (Jared Leto), is a junkie who, along with his friend, Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), thinks that his big break in life will be when he becomes a big-time drug dealer. He has no qualms about using his mother’s beloved television set as collateral for drug deals. Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) is a talented clothing designer who could have a future, but she can’t resist the drugs, and she finds herself sucked into down along with Harry. The film, which is set in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, “holds close to the theme of the novel: the real drug we’re all hooked on is the American Dream, with its promises of big cash paydays and fame and eventually happiness . . .” New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell wrote in his review (1). The film

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