Requiem for a Dream : Not really an anti-drug movie

Not really an anti-drug movie

Requiem For a Dream is not boring and the acting is good and it's got a lot of shock value going for it. And it certainly has visual style. But if you remove the layers of that style and took a kind of more honest/courageous approach and eschewed the "ghastly visual horrors" of drug addiction, I'd respect this movie more. It is effective in its own way, (and in a way that's somewhat unfortunate), I can see why so many people respond to it so enthusiastically. But in a way I also find it to be a somewhat disingenuous movie.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the movie GLAMORIZES drug addiction, but neither is it truly an anti-drug movie. Not that I am expert on the subject (I did read the novel, which was probably a more true to life experience to addiction as I am thinking the author actually was a drug addict), but this movie's main goal seem to provide a sequence of visually horrific events. The movie seemed to be a series of dramatic highs (no pun intended.) The movie's tone was more like cartoon horror.

I thought "Panic in Needle Park" seemed a much more honest and compelling look at drug addiction. And the 1970 movie "Trash" was, IMO, excellent, near-classic. It actually "dared" to show scenes that were dramatically lethargic, demonstrated the impotence of the lead male character. These two movies just rang a lot more true to me, though I'm sure many people have not seen either movie.

This is not meant to totally bash RFAD. I did not hate the movie. I just thought it was both over the top and completely self-serious. Does anybody agree with any of this?

Re: Not really an anti-drug movie

I recall seeing this when first released Mr H and felt like I had been put through a wringer. I was impressed with the acting and also liked the shock value of some of the scenes. At the time, I did see it as anti-drug, or even if that wasn't it's intention, it wanted to show the horrors of addiction and the consequences it can bring about. Also Sara Goldfarb, due to her naivety, was taking drugs prescribed to her by a nonchalant doctor, who was about as concerned and caring as a pair of rancid sweaty socks, that have been worn for 10 days straight. The addiction is being force fed onto us.

It's style was heightened and sensationalized for effect and I really bought into the presentation. It knew when to slow down for dramatic effect and finally started taking the viewer on a downward spiral, in which there was no release. For me it was effective and that I think was the point. Perhaps it was too much of a sledgehammer effect and lost some honesty or even potency in it's telling. Besides, it was a new wave of cinema, going into the millennial.

I haven't seen PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK-71', yet have read many excellent things about it. I could imagine being a 70's film, it would have a gritty and down to earth presentation, that only some 70's films could provide, yet would also have that 70's kind or sweet representation of it's main protagonists. Have you seen CHRISTANE F.-81' Mr H? This is a German film about teenage drug addiction that pulls no punches and is very raw.

Exorcist: Christ's power compels you. Cast out, unclean spirit.

Re: Not really an anti-drug movie

If you read the novel, it isn't a story about drug addiction, but of human folly in blindly pursuing the things that separate us from the true Dream. Selby was such a good writer, able to capture his characters from the pathetic to the sublime.

Re: Not really an anti-drug movie

I respectfully disagree, Hutch. IMHO this is the best ANTI drug movie of all time!

Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar and doesn't.

Re: Not really an anti-drug movie

I respect your opinion, but if that isn't an anti-drug movie, i don't know what is. I could not imagine a better way to depict a drug fueled descent to hell even in my worst nightmare.

People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs