Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Disappointment

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"Hey, I'm happy and I'm in a wonderful mood. Let's shoot up!"…said no one ever.

Nobody does drugs because they're happy. Drugs may appear to turn that frown upside down, but it's only for an instant. Soon, they grab the corners of your mouth and pull it back into a frown. Then they keep pulling until they rip your face clean off. It's true. We saw it in a movie once. Probably the same one where Helen Hunt snorts some powder and jumps out a window.

Everyone in Requiem for a Dream is miserable. They think drugs will help them, but they're wrong. The drugs only make them more miserable.

Questions About Disappointment

  1. Why is everyone in this movie so dang unhappy?
  2. Are these characters hopeless? Are they turning to drugs as a last resort, or are there other options they could try in order to be happy?
  3. Would these characters be happier or more miserable without drugs?

Chew on This

Aronofsky shows his characters using drugs to forget their miserable lives. In the moment, they feel fantastic. But the drugs merely make them forget their problems; they don't actually solve them.

When drugs aren't an option, the characters take their frustration with their disappointing lives out on each other. They take no responsibility for their own situations.

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