«Requiem for a Dream»: a manual for a drug addict or a tragic and beautiful story?

The anniversary of a cult movie is the time to review and rethink.

Reading time 11 minutes

In 2020 the film «Requiem for a Dream» celebrated its 20th anniversary. On the occasion of the jubilee, Darren Aronofsky decided to release the director’s version of the film in 4K on October 13. We decided to remember the film, which is familiar to virtually everyone and discuss our impressions.

«Requiem for a Dream» on the screens again (source: KinoPoisk).

The plot

Female perspective

The plot of the film is quite simple. Aronofsky presents us four main characters: Mrs. Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) and their mutual friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). From the first minutes of the film we learn that each of them has a certain dream: Sara Goldfarb wants to do a popular TV show, Harold and Tyrone are eager to get rich, and Marion sees herself as the owner of a designer store. There is a weighty obstacle between the heroes and their goals – drugs. Addiction becomes the main obstacle to the dream, making all their plans unattainable. All plotlines are brought to a logical end: four heroes pass through summer, autumn and winter. Their destinies are gradually collapsing, and at the end of the film the tragedy reaches its climax. The director managed to find the balance between the storylines and to reveal each character to the full extent.

Carefree “summer” Harry and Tyrone, frame from the film (source: KinoPoisk)

Men’s view

I would not agree with my colleague. Yes, each of the heroes has a dream, but it is not what Aronofsky brings to the surface of the plot. The problem is not drugs, but that the characters are too deep in dreams and illusions because of weak will. Yes, Marion dreams of creating her own clothing brand, but take into account the financial situation of her parents. If the girl behaved more seriously, they would support her endeavor. But is it the main thing for her? In fact, Marion herself wants to spend her life next to Harry and to realize herself. The last one, in a very distorted form, she gets at the end of the film. Yes, Harold and Tyrone dream of a «pound of cleansing» (453 grams of pure heroin) and wealth. Is this what they live for? No! It is important for Harry to be with Marion. She was the first person he thought about during the amputation of his hand. His meaning of life was Marion, not money and drugs. He dreamed that she would succeed in the fashion industry and become truly happy. Tyrone wants to become a significant person in society and is ready to do everything for his «ideal» future. This is shown in a scene where he enthusiastically agrees to work for a drug lord for money and status. In reality, each of them just wants to find his place in life. The drugs in «Requiem for a Dream» are a metaphorical curtain on the window. Heroes dream of getting into the street, but do not go out. They prefer to draw the curtain and not to think that there is a neat yard outside their room. And because they «pull the curtain» regularly, they forget about the existence of the world around them.

Acting

Female perspective

The selection of actors in this film was, as it seems to me, extremely scrupulous. Aronofsky approved for the role of those who will immediately arouse the sympathy of the audience. While watching the film, the characters are not disgusted, but rather compassionate. This is a very well thought out move. Of all the cast, the most memorable is Ellen Burstyn. Her heroine gave me the creeps.

Ellen Burstyn as Sara, frame from the film (source: Yandex Zen).

Men’s view

It’s hard to argue that the cast is definitely beyond any criticism. I would especially like to mention Jennifer Connelly. If the theme of drugs is far from your worldview, the motivation to continue watching will be the charming beauty and stunning game of the main character.

Directing and production

Female perspective

The film was filmed beautifully. Colors, frame staging, scenery and views – all in the same style, pleasing to the eye. The business card of the film is the famous splices of the frames, embodying the use of substances. The film is imbued with the aesthetics of that time and society. The strongest scene is shown at the end of the film picture, where all four heroes lie in the embryo position, embodying their helplessness.

Tyrone in embryo position, frame from film (source: KinoPoisk)

Men’s view

Stunning «Hip-hop» montage from Aronofsky and just an unreal number of splices! The ingenious breakdown of the film into seasons reminds «The Seasons» by Vivaldi. Montage allows us to feel the pace and rhythm of what is happening and it is the «heart» of the picture and sets the movement. However, I did not have enough flowers in this picture. Perhaps more daring solutions could add extra vividness to what is happening.

Overall impression

Female perspective

The film undoubtedly contains strong scenes that show how harmful drugs are to physical and mental health. Accordingly, the message is quite simple and clear: if there were no heroin and amphetamine heroes in life, everything would be perfect. The disadvantage of this picture is the certainty that none of the heroes will be able to live a normal life and cope with their addiction which has developed since the very first scenes. Therefore, the whole film turns into waiting for the fatal outcome, which will be a disaster for all characters. «Requiem for a Dream», in my opinion, lacked the unpredictability of the plot that Uli Edel was able to create in the film «Christiane F ».

Harry and Marion, frame from the film (source: KinoPoisk)

Men’s View

I did not have enough beautiful, bright, carefree scenes «in summer», I would like more colors. Moreover, the heroes are so often «high»!
Another factor that slightly embarrassed me was the lack of noticeable contrast in the scenes starting from autumn.
I definitely liked the plot structure based on the extremes. If you need a «dope», it is impossible to get it in more than eight million city (the film is set in one of the districts of New York – Brooklyn). Therefore, the heroes go in search not just in a neighboring city or state, but in Florida, the distance to which is more than 8500 km! However, to me, it gives additional dynamics, and in combination with the installation looks organic.

Social significance 

Female perspective

«Requiem for a Dream» is among the 250 best movies. The movie by Aronofsky is considered cult because it shows the drug addiction of the present. «Requiem for a Dream» does not romanticize drugs, it shows how substances break destinies. There is a tendency for all movies or series that mention drug addiction to become quite popular (e.g., TV series «Euphoria», «Eagles», «Elite» and «13 Reasons why»). Is it necessary to show the topic of drug use in movies? Why not? But only as long as the mentioning does not turn into the propaganda of such a lifestyle. By the way, Russian psychologists have noticed that «Requiem for a Dream» has psychotherapeutic properties and allows to fight harmful habits.

Ellen Burstyn on filming (source: Tvkinoradio)

Men’s view

I do not think it is correct to compare this picture with work like «Euphoria», too different contexts. In «Requiem for a Dream», drugs are used as one of the connecting elements of all heroes. The «dope» increases rapidly, time runs faster, and the situation in which the heroes drive themselves becomes increasingly desperate.
Drug propaganda is a bad thing. However, take, for example, the cult movie «Dazed and Confused», which is famous in the USA. Throughout the whole time the heroes «get high» and this is what makes it possible to recreate the atmosphere corresponding to the film’s idea. In this way the director helps the viewer to feel the epoch (the action takes place in the USA in the 70s). Aronofsky also uses drugs in the frame to make the viewer experience emotions. The film’s author tries to convey to us: «Live here and now, not in illusions. Act, be yourself and everything can work out».

“Attraction” or rejection?

Лучшие профи работали над фильмом более полутора лет – и вот результат

Reading time 10 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

The name Fyodor Bondarchuk attracted a lot of attention to the sci-Fi movie. This is evident by the film’s budget almost half a billion rubles, and by the fact that this is only the 4th film in our country, which is transferred to the IMAX format. We tried to find out whether the movie is as good as was told about her star in interview the TV channel Moscow 24 after the presentation.

Plot

Male gaze

“Gravity” is a film about what would happen if first contact with an alien civilization took place not in new York or Washington, and in the Districts. The alien ship downed by the Russian air force, becomes a stumbling block: the government, wanting to avoid unnecessary casualties, protects him from the people, and the people themselves demand to immediately expel the intruders with the “our Land”. The situation is complicated by the fact that in cordon there is a gap through which a too enterprising Teens can make contact with the aliens, the consequences of which, in fact, described in the film.

Female perspective

gravity fall

The plot is quite trivial. Julia Lebedev attends school in high school and lives with his father-a Colonel, as her mother died. She has a lovely young man, he and best friend with whom they climb onto the roof of the skyscraper to watch the meteor shower. Instead, he falls to the Ground alien ship Sol with the aliens, is very similar to transformers. Like one gets a pretty picture, but it spoils the second half of the film, which is more similar to Euromaidan in 2014, the year of Molotov cocktails than at the beautiful battle between humans and aliens.

Acting

Male gaze

The characters in “Gravity” are shown with all possible care. Colonel Lebedev performed by Oleg Menshikov it looks a lot like the strict father, the one whose daughter entered puberty, but because to understand it is extremely difficult. The daughter herself – Julia Lebedeva, which in the movie is played Irina Starshenbaum, – behaves like a real problem child, and her boyfriend Artem (Alexander Petrov) looks like an ordinary young man in love. Special attention also deserve a school teacher (Eugene kilometers) and Google (Evgeny Mikheev), the sincerity of which really wants to believe.

Female perspective

gravity cast

Many emotions in “Gravity” shows Irina Starshenbaum not bad, but I saw nothing unusual except for her name. This actress has no personality! And Irina and her character Julia Lebedeva if deprived of individuality, which is so important to exercise in sci-Fi movies. Otherwise, a large number of special effects overshadow an actor. In the films of this genre I’m used to seeing these beauties as Jessica Alba in “Fantastic four”, or Scarlett Johansson in “the Avengers”, but not “gray mouse” as the main character. Alexander Petrov is more suitable for Comedy films than dramas.

special Effects

Male gaze

From the very beginning of browsing, we marvel at the scale of surveys: extremely realistic space ship in the far reaches of space, fighters, explosions and meteorite impact – all performed at the highest level. The scene with the fall of the UFO in Chertanovo and did want to revisit again and again – so cool it looks. Of particular delight is the quality of study space suits of aliens, which if done manually, not with computer graphics. The interaction of alien technology with the water looks absolutely incredible – much better than in “the last airbender”. The quality and quantity of special effects, “Attraction” is quite comparable with the Hollywood blockbuster “2012”, which is caused not only multi-million dollar budget, but a brilliant work of specialists.

Female perspective

pull spec

At first glance on the poster and in the trailer the alien ship in the form of a sphere looks brilliant in all senses. Unfortunately, when you sit down to watch the film from beginning to end, you realize that it’s not as cool as previously thought. If the UFO in the middle of the skyscrapers of America looks intimidating, but it is relevant in Chertanovo – ridiculous. In fiction need hyperbole to the next frame was stronger than the previous one. That’s what’s really “catchy”. If you compare a recent film about aliens on Earth Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” and “Attraction” of a novel, American drama, of course, wins. And not only on special effects.

Idea

Male gaze

Think about what will be the first contact with an alien race, we were offered more than once. Somewhere this momentous event almost turned into a disaster (“Alien”, “Predator”), where it was funny (“Mars attacks!”), and somewhere went by quite peacefully (“Contact”). However, the “Gravity” gives us much more cause for reflection, because its action takes place somewhere in America, right in Moscow, showing that it can happen anywhere at any time. And if the aliens do first come to Earth here and now, will we be ready for such contact? Bondarchuk sure will, and I have no reason not to believe him.

Female perspective

gravity suit

“Gratitude, loneliness, hate, love” – the meanings of these words the main character tries to explain to one of the aliens, which in appearance is no different from an ordinary person. The creators of fantastic pictures tried to combine the two stories: about the strongest feelings of the people about the disaster that will occur when approaching the UFO to Moscow. Maybe I should focus on one thing more details and to register the script. Sometimes it seemed that skipped some scenes, like the writers didn’t want to make the film taut. As it turned out! I involuntarily looked at the clock when sitting in the cinema.

Overall impression

Male gaze

On viewing I went with a clear feeling that much of “Gravity” that we should not expect too bad, in my opinion, showed themselves national cinema in recent years. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the filming and the script – the film is very worthy. Of course, not without some contentious moments, but they focus should not be – a major impact on the overall picture they do not have. “Attraction” after watching the leaves not only a pleasant experience, but also a ground for reflection, so I definitely recommend it for viewing the male half of the audience.

Female perspective

In the second half of 2016, the year of the Russian cinema has pleased me both great films, including “the Collector” with Konstantin Khabensky in the main and only role, the philosophical picture of “the Apprentice” by Kirill Serebrennikov and “Paradise” Konchalovsky. Amid such harrowing films with complicated storylines “Attraction” seems too superficial. If a person wants the soul to cry, then he chooses a drama, and if you want to relax and to relieve the brain, it is fiction. That is why I do not advise women to watch a movie of a novel: you just confused what to do.

Assassin’s Creed, the long-awaited and criticized

На российском экране – картина «Кредо убийцы» Джастина Курзеля, снятая по одноименной серии игр

Reading time 8 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

Plot

Male gaze

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The film Assasin’s Creed revolves around the conflict between the Assassins and Templars. Two groups pursuing certain goals, trying to get their hands on the Apple of Eden, an artifact of divine origin, which gives the owner superhuman strength. It was the pursuit of him is at the center of the narrative and becomes the main motivation of the characters in the film: the Assassins are trying to protect Apple, while the Templars use it for their own purposes. The outcome of this chase depends the fate of humanity, so Callum Lynch – the protagonist of the film – to find his place in the world and lead the chosen way to success.

Female perspective
Speaking in plain language, this film tells the story of a murderer Callum Lynch, whom brought in the so-called “rehabilitation center” in Madrid. There it is connected to the “Animus”, the special apparatus, which allows to enter the regression and take the place of his ancestor who lived 500 years ago. Dr. Sophia Raylin and her father sent Callum in the past, that he found the Apple of Eden with which it is possible “to heal the world from violence.” The goal looks good, but the movie was too “muddy”.

Acting

Male gaze

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The very arrangement of the film not too conducive to the manifestation of talent – most of the time the actors enough to maintain equanimity in the frame. And with that, I must say, they do perfectly. However, Michael Fassbender perfectly shows the audience the inner world of the protagonist, caught between two fires, and trying to find his way in the world of Assassins and Templars. Marion Cotillard, the female leading role, also managed to reveal his character – Sofia Raylin – we do not understand on which side will eventually face the employee of Abstergo industries.

Female perspective
I was very disappointed with the game’s main character Sofia. After a sensual drama “Allies” of the end of 2016, the year in which Marion Cotillard sincerely recited all of the dialogue and showed the tenderness, passion and despair of the French scout, her role in “Assassin’s Creed” was not crowned with the same success. In the new action she seemed emotionless throughout the film. As for me, it is better to criticize the actor, what not to say about his performance in the movie nothing. That Michael Fassbender does not surprise me and did not show his acting talent unlike the little actor Angus brown, who played Callum Lynch in the childhood.

Photography

Male gaze

The film is filled with action in the form of action scenes: the characters constantly fight, break away from the shackles or run – on dialogues almost no time. This, however, the movie does not harm – most of the filming produced at the highest level, although sometimes computer graphics visible to the naked eye. It should be noted that transitions between the two times of the film – 1492 the year and the present – which is never a surprise to the viewer, so it does not have to spend a lot of time thinking about what he saw.

Female perspective
How producers and Directors present to the past, where is Callum, namely Andalusia in 1492, the year, is truly mesmerizing. In the film there are beautiful nature photographs, for example, mountain ranges with a bird’s flight, ancient palaces, and the ancient city. Unfortunately, almost two-hour film, they occupy only a small part. But ¾ of the time is shooting battles, where flying dust, causing the faces of the actors become indistinguishable, and instead of the normal dialogue is heard only screams.

Main idea

Male gaze

The conflict between Assassins and Templars – not so much a gang war, as the opposition ideologies. The film shows how important for any person free will, even if it leads to the wrong action. It is no coincidence that it is related to the Apple of Eden, which Adam and eve were expelled from Paradise. This is the first manifestation of man’s free will is not mentioned directly in the film, but to see it for the metaphor it is easy. Thus the “overly aggressive” Assassins become the embodiment of freedom, and their famous motto – “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” – another proof.

Female perspective
In my opinion, the main idea of this picture is that if your ancestor was a criminal or a murderer, and you will be prone to violence. From such a fate is possible to save the people, if you go into the past and change fate. I agree, it sounds non-trivial and very strong. Only now this idea is very poorly implemented in the movie. It completely “slaughtered” a sword that even after viewing the film remains ringing in the ears.

Overall impression

Male gaze
I as a fan of the game series Assasin’s Creed movie seemed very decent. It was nice to plunge into the atmosphere of confrontation between the Brotherhood and the Order, once again remember the story of Desmond miles and hear memorized by heart the Oath. The plot did not seem so confusing, how he tried to imagine the critics, and the abundance of action scenes I would rather attributed to the merits of the film.

Female perspective
Ladies, if you are fans of the game “Assassin’s Creed” or fighters, then don’t waste your time and money on “assassin’s Creed”. First, there’s a lot of unknown for you words. Second, love the lines of the speech did not go. Finally, any emotion he did not have a cause, believe me, neither to cry nor to laugh, even frightened for no reason.

Army of one

На российских экранах с 15 декабря 2016 г.

Reading time 8 minutes

This story is about how ordinary Builder Gary Faulkner decided to dedicate his life to the search and neutralization of Osama bin Laden, one of the most dangerous and wanted terrorists in the world. This will help him God, and to maintain, of course, love.

Plot

Male gaze

The story told in the film, full of conventions and inconsistencies. It is not clear why frankly a mentally ill man calmly walks across America and even freely flying beyond. And where, in fact, he has taken money for entertainment? All this script is silent.

Mission: inappropriateBut colorfully and with humor describes the path of the hero to the elimination of Osama bin Laden: from the first meeting with the customer to complete the adventure “American samurai” in a foreign country.

Female perspective

This film shows the full extent of the world 50-year-old bachelor: a bar where the men are constantly drinking beer, Smoking marijuana and expressions: “I gotta take a piss”, “shitting” and “storchai”. I understand that this image was created on purpose, but to admire it the entire first half of the film unpleasant. In the 45th minute to see this is finally getting interesting. Mission: inappropriatethe First few days of a hero in Pakistan filmed exciting and fun, but after 15 minutes everything again is getting boring.

Actors

Male gaze

In “Mission: Inappropriate” Nicolas cage appears as a typical man, walking around the house in shorts and while brandishing a samurai sword for 0.01$. The described situation is close to us and familiar, left alone at home, the man can afford some liberties. The image of the comic and acting talent of Nicholas allowed him perfectly to grow into the role. To the extent that we sometimes do not know – thanks to the make-up artists.

Female perspective

Believe me, on the poster for “Mission: inadequate” the main actor looks a lot prettier and smarter than most comedies. Greasy hair, carelessly trimmed beard and unkempt appearance – all this describes not only one Gary Faulkner, but almost all actors are male. Is not all the same cage to be scruffy, sitting at the TV screen in shorts and overly anxious.

Humor

Male gaze

As has been repeatedly noted, much of the plot of the movie rests on the comic component from the first frame of the awakening of the hero to the final battle with bin Laden. Take meeting Gary Faulkner with God, which is more like a hippie than the Creator. Or his attempt to swim to Pakistan by boat, and then down to pre-cut the glider from the mountains of Israel. Humor in its various forms accompanies the viewer throughout the film, allowing you to have a good laugh and forget about all the problems – almost cathartic to reach.

Female perspective

The film was absolutely not funny. During the picture, I smiled on the strength of 1-2 times. Well laugh at? Over unemployed by Gary Faulkner, who is obsessed with the desire to catch Osama bin Laden? But he’s sick in the head man, he needs to be treated, if he is constantly imagining a God who still tells him what to do. Over the sweetheart Faulkner, too, “neighing” fail: Marcy Mitchell is raising his niece, confined to a wheelchair, but still works 2 jobs. It can only regret.

Philosophy

Male gaze

However, “Mission: Inadequate” not only to laugh but also thought-provoking. The very appearance of God in the film pushes the conversation about the problems of theology, and the writers did not resist this temptation. They also drew attention to the matter is more mundane – difficulties of human choice born of free will. Gary the whole film is torn between duty to God and personal feelings to Marcy, trying to compromise.

Female perspective

Perhaps the writers wanted to convey some deep thought to the audience, but I didn’t see her. Don’t understand how can you talk about such an important topic as theology, and when the main character, and God himself is depicted in the movie crazy. If to speak about feelings Gary Faulkner to Marcy, so he throughout the film, frankly, beaten her, and only at the very end still bother to choose love.

Overall impression

Male gaze

The male part of the audience, “Mission: Inappropriate” can and should appeal, especially if the spectator will not treat it with excessive seriousness. After all in this Comedy has everything we like: strange character, thatmy obsessions, cute his faithful companion and, of course, adventures in wild and dangerous lands. And who cares if the script is sometimes far from reality, or just strange – a film that “does not interfere, and even exalts it”.Mission: inappropriate

Female perspective

This movie I was not impressed, although I usually like films based on real events. Also do not advise me to show you, ladies, even if you are a fans of Nicolas cage. As for me, this Comedy for “real men”, located on the couch with a beer in hand. The movie is rather repulsive amount of dust and dirt in the literal and figurative senses.Mission: inappropriate