The following may or may not end up in the locked node Requiem for a Dream. I post it now, or I don't sleep and/or I burst. (I should have known to check to see if the node was locked.) I haven't written anything in ages, anywhere. This is - hopefully - merely cracking open the floodgates to the swollen dam.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
This movie is fucked up. I'm still not sure if this is that good sort of fucked up or bad sort of fucked up. This movie starts with - or so one may assume - the whole and complete - and just takes away, chip after chip, until the very bitter end.
There is no W Diagram here. It's a backslash, starting at the bottom and then tearing the floor out of the basement of reality and showing the thin, keen edge between what is accepted as normal, what is success and failure and the insanity that is merely being conscious and alive that lies beneath it all.
The only difference between any of it is mere semantics and personal perspective.
I write this here not because I think I can actually add to what has already been said, but as cartharsis, as purgative. I literally just finished watching it, and I'm still crying. I don't really cry at movies, or over books, or any of that shit. It's not that I think I'm too cool for that. I yearn for it. I'm plugged up. Clogged. Wanna let it out but can't, won't. I've bathed in the morbid and existential like it was the sweetest perfumed milk bath in a tub of gold. Kafka is light bedtime reading. I'm very rarely truly touched or moved by anything, and feel so little real empathy and connection for anything it disturbs me.
This movie just touched the deepest core of my being with a white-hot poker of purest pain, penetrating with feint within feint, slipping inside my jaded shell with effortless effort, branding my soul.
This is not hyperbole. The clumsiness of language itself does not allow for true meaning here.
I could go on for pages about the technical merits of the film, the excellence of composition, the lighting, the music, the soundwork, the ultra-realism, the insane composite shots, the artistic integrity, the innovative use of body mounted cameras foreshadowed by the camera mounted on the TV cart at the opening of the film.
I could devote - and I mean devotion - even more pages to the incredible acting.
And it all falls to the wayside as a discarded husk, the merest incidental vehicle of the message at hand. The way film and all art should always be, but rarely ever is.
And that message is widely interpretable, of course, but most obviously as yossarian says, it's about addiction.
But I will take that a step farther, and say that the primary message is emptiness, the missing piece we all seek to fill. The constant state of incompleteness that everyone I've ever met carries with them everywhere, no matter what.
The unbearable burden of nihil.
How much does nothing weigh? And how far have you carried it? And how long have you been lonely?
Within all of this darkness, within the jarringly obvious comparisons between all of the things we do that equate to trying - and failing - to become complete, within all the layered messages against racism, agism, sexism, drug-ism, television-ism there is hope. This glimmer is hardly even the merest tone or texture in the movie, but forcibly drawn out of the viewer as the viewer is lead from conclusion to conclusion, action to reaction throughout the gritty landscape of the film, and shown in brutal detail the absolute madness of our self-imposed isolations, restrictions, and needless, heedless desires.
And that would be - to me - the subtext. Be careful what you wish for. The very desire you think you desire the most might just be the worst thing for you.
And the one thing you actually need is already in your arms, around the corner, in the eyes of a friend, or perhaps simply in the air you breathe.
For once, I will not be reading the book. At least not any time soon.