Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream is an eye-opening look at all sorts of drugs, addictions and what they do to lives, relationships and families.
It is a ground-breaking movie that honestly changed the way I look at hardcore drug use and addiction.
At the time of my first viewing of this movie, I was a moderate alcohol drinker and recreational marijuana smoker. I never believed weed was a gateway drug as some say it is. However, watching this movie is the reason I never did heroin, and there were times when I was presented with the opportunity.
The movie is extremely graphic. It shows the lowest of the low times that were a direct result of drug use and addiction. From Jared Leto's character selling his mother's TV, to his mother's psychotic breakdown and hallucinations resulting from abuse of diet pills, to Jennifer Connelly's character stooping to prostitution to obtain money, to the final brutal scene where Leto's character requires an arm amputation due to an infection stemming from shooting heroin.
The most disturbing notion, for me, was not the mental and physical effects of the various addictions in this movie. It was that many of the characters saw a way out, and that they were very close to finding true happiness and being free from substance dependency. However, we are left with the image that they will never break the cycle. Death and life-changing injuries are the only thing standing in the way of the destructive path of drugs.
Anytime in the following years I was confronted with an opportunity to try these drugs, I always thought about Requiem for a Dream. I said no and I honestly don't know if I would have said no without seeing this movie at an impressionable age.