Tag Archives: Darren Aronofsky

Challenge Week 37: Requiem for a Dream

This has been on my to-watch list for a very long time, thanks to falling in love with Aronofsky’s The Fountain and realizing I probably couldn’t call myself a huge Aronofsky fan without having seen his most well-known film. Fast-forward several years and I’ve now seen almost every Aronofsky film EXCEPT this one. Ha. I figured I’d get it during this challenge, and my friend Elisabeth came through.

The film follows four characters as they fall deeper and deeper into drug addiction. Jared Leto and his buddy Marlon Wayans continually hock Leto’s mom’s TV to score, but then move into dealing, hoping to hit it big (a plan Leto’s girlfriend Jennifer Connelly is on board with, because then she’d get the really good stuff). Leto’s mom Ellen Burstyn spends all her time watching a game show on TV, then gets hooked on diet pills that are basically speed when she thinks she might have a chance to be on the show. All these people are delusional and eventually their addictions get the better of them in horrific ways.

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Challenge Week 16: The Wrestler

I decided I was a huge Darren Aronofsky fan on the strength of one film – The Fountain – and then proceeded to not really watch more of his filmography for a while, especially when his very next film dealt with a subject I could barely care less about – a washed up wrestler. (I’m now at 4/6 features, with Requiem for a Dream coming up later in the challenge.) I’m not generally a huge sports person, and boxing/wrestling/fighting sports are my least favorite. I was told “oh, but this is a character study!” but, I mean, so was Raging Bull and I didn’t care for that at all. So this was a risky choice, though I’m sure Ryan didn’t realize what a risky choice it was!

The saving grace of The Wrestler is how much I liked Randy the Ram himself – Mickey Rourke invests the character with a lot of weariness but also a lot of heart. He was a major WWE-style wrestler in the ’80s, but now it’s twenty years later and he’s on some kind of small pro circuit with a lot of other wrestlers who seem to be either aging like him or up-and-coming. Every fight is planned out in advance, but that doesn’t stop them from being brutal.

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