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A film by Darren Aronofsky

This is a powerful movie. While on one hand it would be simplistic to say that this is a movie about drugs, it is also necessary and accurate to say that the movie is about drugs. It would be just as accurate to say the movie is about addiction. This movie is broken up into three stages: Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each stage tracks the descent of the characters into addiction and we watch as their lives fall apart.

This is the story of four people: Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly), and their friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). We start the movie with our characters about to improve their lives. After Sara receives a phone call telling her that she has been selected to appear on television she is obsessed with losing weight and fitting into a dress that she wore years ago. She sees a doctor that was recommended by a friend (the doctor seems like a quack doctor, however), and begins taking diet pills. Harry and Tyrone have a plan to start dealing some higher quality drugs and make money so they can buy some of the highest quality cocaine and sell that and make serious money. Marion is along for the ride and has dreams of her own about designing clothing. At first everything is working fine and we are in the Summer period of the story where everything is at its brightest and warmest and most positive. But it isn t to last.

Harry recognizes that the diet pills that his mother are taking are nothing more than speed, with a downer to help her sleep at night. He sees the signs of addiction and that she is starting to become strung out, but all she can see is that she is losing weight. Harry and Tyrone are experiencing great success, but it is all starting to turn sour. The rest of the movie is the slow (though at times rapid) descent into addiction and the repercussions of the drug addiction and lives they are leading. There are arrests and Marion is now willing to trade her body for drugs since Harry is not able to provide her with the drugs she needs. It keeps getting worse and worse and spiraling out of control for all four characters and the end of the movie doesn t give them redemption, but rather rock bottom.

As I said, this is a powerful movie, but by no means is this film an uplifting movie. Things start bad, improve a little it and just get worse from there. This is a harrowing look at drug addiction and there is no truly sympathetic character whom I care for and hope things turn around for. What this movie does have are fantastic acting performances from everyone involved (though I am somewhat less impressed with Connelly). I have been impressed with both of Araonofsky s movies (the other being Pi ), but they have both been emotionally gloomy pictures. I look forward to seeing what he does next and while I think this is an excellent movie, I think I ll be okay never seeing it again.

This movie is not for the whole family.

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I hated "Pi" but loved this. Especially when Leto lost his arm. Very accurate portrayal of what people will do, how low they'll sink, and how crazy they can become to feed their addiction(s).
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I can't speak for the accuracy, but it felt accurate.
There will likely be a review of Pi sometime in 2004, but i can't say when. It's been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I was a bit confused the first time i saw it, so i wonder what i'll think of it this time around
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I'm a huge Aronofsky fan. I absolutely love both movies. Requiem doesn't lose much in replay, and I'm currently still peeved because somehow my Pi dvd doesn't work anymore. Great intense movies, and definitely not for the whole family.
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