In honor of the New Year I am going to make an effort this week to write every day. This week I actually have a good movie to write about and it’s available to stream FOR FREE on Netflix. So you can read my little summary and decide if you’d like to embark on this wild ride of emotions for yourself. (SPOILER ALERT: You won’t.)
Requiem For a Dream is that movie everyone says you should watch once then never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, watch again. I watched it when I was in high school with a few friends and had to miss a month of school due to paralyzing fear of the world. I figured almost 10 years later I was ready for my second go-around. Especially considering I’m a brooding intellectual with the potential to go places, hindered only by my vices which render me useless to the productive world… Just like the people in the movie. WOOOO! PARTY!
Talya came over for a chill movie night at my place and I ambushed her with this option. Since she works in film, Requiem was on her list of movies she needs to watch. But she didn’t know anything about it. I kept it that way, I didn’t give her any warning. I just worked as fast as I could to pull it up before she could change her mind.
Let’s talk about it:
At the beginning of the movie you forget just how much it will mentally destroy you. I remember sitting there and thinking “Oh, this isn’t so bad… Why was I so dramatic about it?” I now laugh at past Katrina’s ignorance.
TACTICS. If they pulled their dick out at the beginning of the movie do you really think you’d keep watching to see that dick shrivel up into a heroin needle infected prune? No, you wouldn’t. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)
Jared Leto is a disgusting human being (in real life) so this role is pretty perfect for him. Heroin, cocaine, pawning his mother’s shitty television for drugs… He’s an all around winner. His beautiful girlfriend Jennifer Connelly is somehow broken enough inside to not only date him but also to indulge in the same vices. They are SUPER addicted.
Let’s make this story even yummier by watching Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans decide it’s a great idea to become drug dealers. Has that idea ever gone poorly for anyone in the history of ever? Nah, it’s usually a good career move. I figured this would make the rest of the movie free of conflict.
On the other main plotline we have Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto’s mom. Holy fucking shit this woman can act. She’s a lonely and desperate mother who lacks purpose in her monotonous life. So she sits and watches infomercials on repeat and tries to Keep Up With the Wrinkly Jones’(my nickname for her equally decrepit female co-tenants whose idea of a good time is sitting in lawn chairs on the sidewalk wearing brightly colored sun hats and sipping moldy lemonade.)
Now you start to remember why this movie made you seriously consider quitting alcohol and sleeping with the lights on for three weeks. Fun little film technique used here- The Fall refers to both the season AND the downfall of the main characters. HEHHEEHEH I BET YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT SINCE YOU DIDN’T SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS ON FILM SCHOOL.
Ellen Burstyn is taking diet pills because she wants to fit into the red dress she wore to Harry’s (Jared Leto’s) graduation. For what reason? She got a phone call saying she was set to appear on television (the same type of phone call you get informing you that you’ve won an all expense paid cruise.) She latches onto this promise and it becomes her only reason for living. She builds up a tolerance to these “diet pills” which are actually a series of amphetamines and sedatives. WHAT A FANTASTIC WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT MAYBE I’LL TRY IT? Well once you build up a tolerance to a drug, the best thing to do is double and triple the original dosage. So she does exactly that and goes batshit insane. We’re talking Knife Wielding Hollywood Homeless level nutso.
Drug Dealing goes GREAT for the aspiring Drug Dealers- there’s a massive shootout involving a deaf guy doing shady sign language in a limo. Then another massive shootout when they try to find new drug suppliers. The market runs dry, Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly get desperate and she has to start selling her body. Jared Leto decides he’s going to Florida because that’s the best place to reinvigorate your drug drought apparently. Shit starts to get really cute right about now.
It is this season that gave me a feeling in my bones that I rarely experience. A feeling I sometimes experience when I’m getting my eyebrows/upper lip threaded by a particularly aggressive threader and the pain becomes too much to handle. A feeling that you can only address by squirming around in your seat, asking yourself if you might just need to pee, then releasing tears. You’re not really crying, but your entire body hates you and wants whatever is happening to end as soon as possible or it may unleash the contents of your bladder and bowels with a vengeance. Since this is the climax of the movie I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I will give you a little list to clue you into what you can expect:
- “Ass to ass” (this is one of the most famous quotes of the movie.)
- Decaying arm
- Evil refrigerator
- A mental breakdown in the subway
- Prison mayhem
- Liquid nutrition shoved down a throat + electric shock therapy.
- An absolutely massive dildo
Maybe nothing on that list rattles you, and if that’s the case… Still go watch this movie when you have a few spare hours. It’s free on Netflix and I promise you will leave the viewing feeling SOMETHING. (And if you’re dead inside like me, feeling ANY emotion is better than your constant state of numbness and stagnation.)
Personal Lessons I learned From Requiem For a Dream:
- Damn, that theme music is cool. It sounds kind of like the Saw theme.
- While I may be a complete piece of shit on many occasions, thank fucking god I’m not a heroin addict.
- Selling your body is as alien and terrifying as it sounds, and is also quite a reflection on the buyer.
- Never take your relationship with your parents for granted. Holy hell, Mom, I promise I’ll never steal your TV for drug money, especially if we’re at the point where you chain it to the wall. And I’m going to try to call more often, please just don’t get eaten by the refrigerator.
- Don’t let your mother take diet pills, especially if they’re meth.
- The second your arm starts turning a strange color… see a doctor for the love of god. I don’t care if you’re gonna get nailed for whatever made your arm turn that color, would you rather have your flesh fall off in MASSIVE BLACK PIECES?
- You and your friends should all have something in common, but please don’t let it be your shared love for illicit and highly addictive drugs.
- Same goes for your romantic relationship ^^^
- New Jersey is scary.
- If you want to drive to Florida from New Jersey make sure both of your arms are in liveable condition. (Same goes for all other extremities tbh.)
- If your ticket to fame and fortune involves selling drugs, you’ll probably fit in nicely in Los Angeles with all the other failed actors,writers, directors, models… etc.
- Don’t do drugs.
- Drugs are bad, if you do them you will die an early death.
- Everything they taught you in D.A.R.E was true.
- If I could go back to 4th grade and rewrite my D.A.R.E speech I would just cite Requiem For a Dream in every other paragraph and if I didn’t get selected to read my speech at the special presentation night, that shit’s rigged. Although, even if I had been chosen my face would have turned really red, I would have cried, and everyone would have felt sorry for me. So let’s just leave history as it lay and let my shitty speech rest in peace.
Safe travels ya band of misfits! I just added a bunch of fun stuff to my Netflix list and I am still going to sit for an hour or so deciding what to watch. But once I do pick something to watch, you can bet I’ll write it up on here.
I’m open to suggestions, if there is something that looks intriguing but probably too shitty to actually sit down and watch… Pass it along to me. I’ve got nothing better to do with my life than stay awake into the early hours of the morning watching television with a blanket pulled over my head, taking a pint of ice cream straight to the face.
(You may think it’s just a normal refrigerator, but you’d be wrong if you thought that. It’s not a normal refrigerator… Trust me, it’s very far from it. Don’t let it deceive you.)