When I saw Black Swan, I thought to myself "welp, I guess I'm a Darren Aronofsky fan now." And when I saw The Wrestler, I was sure. So when Requiem for a Dream finally came to Netflix Instant earlier this month, I completely was out of excuses to not watch it. Man this movie is good. Man it makes me feel bad.
I feel/know that I am coming to this a bit late to this particular party, considering Requiem for a Dream came out over a decade ago. But it's just as good today as I assume it was back in 2000. It helps that it's so stylized. While it has some very real-world characters with real-world problems suffering real-world consequences for their real-world vices, the whole thing has a timeless surreality to it. And the fact that its 13 years old just helps add to the feeling that it takes place in some weird alternate past.
The directing and sound design are both awesome, with clever drug montages that really drive home the always-the-same, comforting habit of drug abuse, and the sounds—the pops and crackles and fizzes almost tickle that drug part of your brain.
And then of course there's the story, which is a massive, stressful, beautiful downer. It's a real drag. When those strings kick in at the end all you can say is "ugh." But it is fantastic, and should probably be shown to high-schoolers as a PSA or something. So if you're looking to test your constitution this evening, go and check it out on Netflix Instant. All it takes is a mere 101 minutes to be more sure than ever that heroin is a Bad Idea. [Netflix]