Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly)

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Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly)

View to a Thrill

Marion's a co-dependent thrillseeker who aspires to be a fashion designer…but, since this is Requiem for a Dream, a drug habit gets in the way. Pro tip: do not watch this movie if you feel like your faith in humanity is faltering.

Marion's drug of choice isn't cocaine or heroin. It's Harry. When Harry suggests that she focus on her fashion design and open a store, she has this response.

MARION: Then when will I have time to hang with you?

That is something that Vivienne Westwood would never say. But Marion doesn't have a good sense of self-worth, and she likes Harry because he gives her the illusion of an identity. He inflates her ego, and she holds onto it as long as she can. But it eventually deflates and she needs him to boost it again.

Why does Marion feel worthless? Because her parents only put worth in money. We never meet them, but Marion explains her relationship with them to Harry.

MARION: Which is fine, you know, it's great. It's just... money is never what I really wanted from them, you know? That's pretty much all I have to give.

Marion wants to be more than money, but she doesn't know how. Instead, she's made a life of drug use and cheap thrills, like when she pulls the fire alarm in a building just so she and Harry have to run from security.

Did we say security? We also mean in-security.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Dollars

Marion is dependent on Harry for emotional support and for actual drugs, like cocaine. When Harry fails to get drugs, the two fight, and Marion isn't getting emotional support or drugs. She takes out her anger on Harry, never taking responsibility for her own failings. She is particularly angry with him shortly before he goes to Florida, prompting this outburst.

MARION: Some dumb-ass junkie did what? You mean you f***ed it up? […] You promised me that everything was gonna be okay, remember? I f***ed that sleazebag for you, and I put myself through f***ing hell for you. […] You f***ing loser.

Yeowch. That stings. But she brings up a valid point. Harry asks Marion to sleep with her therapist for money. Marion loves Harry because he makes her feel like a person, but here, he's reduced her to an object. It all comes down to money, which Marion has tried hard to get away from.

After this blowout, Harry gives Marion a phone number for a man who will trade drugs and money for sex. If you look closely, you'll see that he writes it on the back of a picture of them both. Again: yeowch. At the end of the movie, Marion has a choice—the drugs and money, or Harry. She doesn't choose Harry.

Everyone in this movie is self-destructive, but perhaps none more so than Marion. She ends up becoming what she never wanted to be at the end. She is someone who doesn't follow her dreams, but who humiliates herself for money.

Sure, compared to armless Harry and in-jail Tyrone, Marion might seem like the best off. While all the characters are shown lying alone in bed at the end, Marion is cuddling up with her new best friend: cold hard cash and drugs.

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