Requiem for a Dream
I wonder if writer/director Darren Aronofsky sits around trying to figure out how to increase his stature within the intellectual and film communities, because one sure-fire way to do it is make a movie about drug addiction that turns personal failure into social critique.
Liberals love this kind of crap because it allows them to rail about the need for recovery programs and massive government spending, using the excuse that people aren't really in control of themselves on drugs, they're simply victims of capitalist brain-washing.
Harry (Jared Leto) and his buddy Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) are trying to make the best of everything America has to offer by combining its two greatest opportunities: pleasure and financial reward. The boys fulfill this need by shooting and selling heroin. Joining them is Harry's girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly), who appears to be much more heavily vested in the pleasure side of their happiness equation. Aronofsky juggles their story with the story of Harry's lonely mother, Sara (Ellen Burstyn), who gets addicted to diet pills.
Aronofsky's movie illuminates an issue which any person with an I.Q. bigger than her shoe size already knows -- that the inability to enjoy being alone is the mark of cultural psychosis. There are basically two types of people in this world: those who enjoy being alone, and those who fear it. Those who fear it are your joiners and your drug addicts and your losers. They'll do anything to be accepted. Somehow, the fact that they are unable to recognize this condition in themselves is Aronofsky's excuse for the rest of us to sympathize with them. Not only did I not sympathize with them, I wished that their spiral into complete and utter despair had occurred more in sync with my own, which happened just after the opening credits faded from the screen.
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