Requiem For a Dream is a 1978 novel and film released in the year 2000. It’s not often easy to make a movie from a book. The film was something of a critical success. This article details both the movie and the novel.
The novel started it all. It follows four people all with some relationship to each other. The group is Harry, Marion, Tyrone and Sara. Harry and Marion are lovers. Tyrone is friends with both of them. Finally, there’s Sara who is Harry’s mom. Every one of them is controlled by some dream. They all become addicted to something in the pursuit of their dreams. Sara wants to be on television. When a casting manager hints that she may receive a TV role, she begins taking diet pills. She ends up hospitalized. The other three become heroin dealers. But like many dealers they become users. Nobody ends up happy.
Sara and Harry are the focus in the movie, but Marion and Tyrone still appear. It’s the same as in the novel. Also like the novel it takes place during three consecutive seasons – summer, fall, and winter.
Sara spends the summer watching infomercials. She also overeats. That makes your fat in her opinion. She eventually learns that she may appear on the infomercial. She decides she wants to wear an old red dress that no longer fits her. She takes up an aggressive diet. When that doesn’t work she sees a doctor who prescribes amphetamines. They are addicting. She also starts grinding her teeth.
Harry and Tyrone become drug dealers. They want to one day be able to score a pound of heroin. Marion plans to use Harry’s money to purchase a store where she can sell her clothing designs. Tyrone just wants enough money to get him off the street.
Sara’s addiction is even worse in the fall. She’s taking more and more, but it isn’t working. She hallucinates about appearing on the infomercial. Harry and Tyrone get arrested. Most of the money they have earned in the summer is used for Tyrone’s bail. Meanwhile their addiction to the heroin they’re supposed to sell grows.
The situation at the end is no better. In winter things spiraled to their lowest point. Harry ends up in the hospital after falling off the roof of a building, Sara is institutionalized, Tyrone is in jail, and Marion is hopelessly addicted to heroin. Everyone except Harry ends up hallucinating a fantasy world.
Requiem for a Dream is pretty accurate in its depiction of addiction.