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Film Analysis
Requiem for a Dream

Eventually, addiction causes the lives of individuals to spiral downward in a desperate search to regain the sense of balance and pleasure that their addiction initially gave them. This downward spiral either leads to recovery or continued hopelessness and eventual death. Director Darren Aronofsky's 2000 film "Requiem for a Dream" illustrates this idea perfectly as this work chronicles this descending spiral experienced by its characters.
For example, as the movie opens, a housewife is in the process of chaining her television to a radiator. This is because she is trying to prevent her son from using it to get the money he needs to support his drug habit. The housewife's efforts fail, as her son frees it and then wheels it down the street to a pawnshop (Ebert, 2000). All of the characters engage in desperate acts to support their addiction. Harry and his best friend Tyrone obtain a large amount of heroin, believing that the profit from selling it will make them rich. However, their behavior is disinhibited because they use so much of it themselves that they wind up using more of it than they sell (Bowers, 2010). Marion, Harry's girlfriend, prostitutes herself to support her heroin addiction and winds up not only losing Harry, but also her sense of self (Bowers, 2010).
Marion plays a key role in enabling heroin addiction, not only for her, but also for Tyrone and Harry, as it is her prostitution that supplies the money needed to obtain the pound of heroin on which their dreams of wealth are based. Family members, friends or colleagues can frequently promote the progression of an addiction without meaning to do so. They do this by making excuses for the actions of addicts, bailing them out of jail or by "taking up the slack," when addicts fail to live up to their obligations and responsibilities (Hanson, Venturelli,...

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